Intended for healthcare professionals


Neonatal circumcision does not protect against penile cancer

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 23 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:779
  1. Paul M Fleiss,
  2. Frederick Hodges
  1. Assistant clinical professor of paediatrics 8124 North Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
  2. Medical historian PO Box 5456, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA

    EDITOR,—Although Morten Frisch and colleagues have made a valuable contribution to the study of penile cancer, they mistakenly repeat the myth that neonatal circumcision renders the subject immune to penile cancer.1 The reference given for this statement is not an epidemiological study but an opinion article by the American circumcisionist Abraham L Wolbarst in 1932.2 Wolbarst invented this myth and was directly responsible for its proliferation; he based it on unverifiable anecdotes, ethnocentric stereotypes, a faulty …

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