3 days after Valentine’s Day the Huffington Post Lifestyle (UK) posted a report on the increase in penile cancer of 21% over the last 30 years. SCARY STUFF! The Article goes on to highlight 3 possible causes for this, including a decrease in “routine” or newborn circumcisions. Circumcision is known to reduce ALL sexually transmitted infections including infections with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV causes a number of symptoms and diseases including penile cancer and… ladies pay attention… cervical cancer. While the reported rise in penile cancer is disturbing, let us not forget that cervical cancer is already the second most common cancer in women worldwide (source) and one of the TOP THREE cancers killing women in the Caribbean. Jamaica reports cervical cancer as the second most common cancer in women, surpassed only by breast cancer.
Vaccines against the HPV virus available in most Caribbean territories. Women whose partners are circumcised are less likely to be exposed to the HPV virus, and have a lower risk of cervical cancer. Get informed, talk to your health care provider, seek reliable information on protecting your own health and carefully consider the pros and cons of all interventions that can lead to prevention.