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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mommy's....

I wrote a blog on my myspace at http://www.myspace.com/virtualvanessa and another mom read it and commented to me personally. I don't have enough information to respond to her, so I'm asking for help on this one. She wrote:

You have to take into consideration both sides of the situation. Your getting your info from a site against circumcision so of course its going to give negative points to every study done. But there are many studies stating facts....for instance the penile cancer one, no we don't cut of girls breasts but breast cancer doesnt have only a 50% survival rate. And its ATLEAST 3x more commmon in uncirc'd males. It also reduces the risk of UTI's, which is caused by a bacteria that can infect the kidneys and cause scarring. Such scarring, which is estimated to occur in about half of babies who suffer UTIs in childhood, can sometimes lead to high blood pressure and even kidney failure later in life. So if I can reduce that risk by more then 10% thats another good reason. Studies also suggest that circumcision can prevent certain minor problems that affect boys' penises. One recent study found that 11 percent of uncircumcised men visiting urology clinics have balanitis, an inflammation of the foreskin, or phimosis, a too-tight foreskin that, in severe cases, requires surgery. Now I'm not trying to argue with you but just giving you more info. They give babies medicine they dont just strap them down and cut it. Some hospitals even do it in the room if you want, you can see thats not how its done anymore.
 

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I would refer her to this site
http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/vanhowe/
it is the journal of fmaily pratice volume 44 #4 pages 407-409
it talks about how circumcision can still lead to cancer. I will get you some more information later toinight my boys just got up from their nap.
And you can also tell her more girls get UTI's then boys but if you suggest to her to cut up a girl it's barbaric but it's OK to do it to a little boy because thats just the way things are done in America .
 

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http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/co...evented_35.asp

"In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile cancer. This suggestion was based on studies that reported much lower penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men. However, most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because they failed to consider other factors that are now known to affect penile cancer risk."

"The current consensus of most experts is that circumcision should not be recommended as a prevention strategy for penile cancer."

The Canadian Pediatric Society indicates:

"Circumcision slightly lowers the risk of developing cancer of the penis in later life. However, this form of cancer is very rare. One of every one million men who are circumcised will develop cancer of the penis each year. By comparison, 3 of every one million men who are not circumcised will develop penile cancer each year."

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/babies/Circumcision.htm

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RE: UTI's/scarring, I'd counter with:

A.) Even if the pro-circ studies were accurate, an intact boy would only have a 1% risk of UTI during the first year of life...girls have about 5x that risk and we don't prophylactically cut anything off of them.

B.) UTI in boys is treatable in the exact same way as UTI in girls: antibiotics, not amputative surgery.

C. Circumcision actually increases the chance of urinary problems! 9-10% of boys aquire Meatal Stenosis as a result of infant circumcision, a condition where SCAR TISSUE BEGINS TO BLOCK THE URETHRA.

http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2356.htm

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Balanitis is inflammation with a wide variety of causes, but the primary underlying factor is Diabetes. Circumcision obviously doesn't prevent Diabetes and another common complication of Diabetes later in life is decreased circulation to the extremeties leading to slow-healing ulcers that may become severely infected, requiring amputation. Prophylactic circumcision of male infants to prevent Balanitis makes as much sense as prophylactic removal of all infants' toes.

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Those are just some quick answers to the excuses she listed. The truth is there are potential medical benefits to removing any non-essential (not required to sustain life) part of the human body, but that doesn't justify removing any other parts from non-consenting, healthy infants.

HTHs,

Jen
 

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Point her toward the recommendations of the major medical organizations. They have looked at all the evidence she is (selectively) bringing to your attention - and have unanimously decided that there is insufficient evidence to recommend circumcision as a routine procedure for all boys.

http://www.circumcision.org/position.htm
http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

Share with her the following quote from bioethicist Margaret Somerville of McGill University, in her book "The Ethical Canary; Science, Society, and the Human Spirit":

>>>Somerville quote follows>>>>>>

A common error made by those who want to justify infant male circumcision on the basis of medical benefits is that they believe that as long as some such benefits are present, circumcision can be justified as therapeutic, in the sense of preventive health care. This is not correct.

A medical-benefits or 'therapeutic' justification requires that:

1) overall the medical benefits sought outweigh the risks and harms of the procedure required to obtain them,
2) that this procedure is the only reasonable way to obtain these benefits, and
3) that these benefits are necessary to the well-being of the child.

None of these conditions is fulfilled for routine infant male circumcision.

If we view a child's foreskin as having a valid function, we are no more justified in amputating it than any other part of the child's body unless the operation is medically required treatment and the least harmful way to provide that treatment.

>>>>>>End quote>>>>>>>>

The final paragraph of the Somerville quote also brings attention to the fact that the foreskin is a normal, healthy, sexually functional part of the human body. People who argue in favor of circumcision consistently fail to take this into consideration. Your respondent needs to be directed to information on the function of the foreskin.

http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/

Gillian
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Telle Bear View Post
I would also...play her side and ask her for the sources of her information...
: for sure


love and peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know; I think I might just invite her here. I'm waiting for her reply; she's looking for her sources when she returns home from whereever she is; and then I'll ask her to come check this out because this is just WAY too much to type.

This is my lesson to learn as well; thankyou everyone!
 

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You've gotten way better response ideas than I'd be able to give. I just wanted to say that even though I completely disagree with her, I think she is arguing very calmly and reasonably. She's not one of those "It's my baby, why do you care what I do with him?!!" types. I'd try to keep it as level headed as possible.
 

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She is twisting facts. Sure penile cancer is more common in intact men but its also so incredibly rare that for each elder male that gets cancer something like 14 babies die of complications from circumcision. That cancer is incredibly rare.

As far as UTIs females are much more likely to get UTIs. Its hardly a risk for baby boys or adult men. Circumcision has only been proven to lower UTIs 1% and only for the first year of life, there is no additional protection after that. Its seems like an invasive and dangerous thing to do when there are antibiotics and breastfeeding to protect infant boys from infection.

As far as the prophylactic protection there are al ot of things one could do to help elderly people but it would dramatically alter their quality of life in the formative years.

It sounds like she is completely dismissing the role of the foreskin in the function and protection of the penis. As well as dismissing the painful surgery which has immediate painful affects and the long term affects (for example that circumcised males have a lower pain threshold, it can affect breastfeeding negatively, etc).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dnr3301 View Post
I just wanted to throw it out there that I think you are doing an excellent job with your newfound passion against circumcision!
:
 

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You have to take into consideration both sides of the situation. Your getting your info from a site against circumcision so of course its going to give negative points to every study done.

And if your information is coming from a site in favor of circumcision, of course it's going to try to throw a positive light on every study done (and ignore those that refute their "facts").

But there are many studies stating facts....for instance the penile cancer one, no we don't cut of girls breasts but breast cancer doesnt have only a 50% survival rate. And its ATLEAST 3x more commmon in uncirc'd males.

Penile cancer is extremely rare. Our sons are much more likely to get breast cancer than penile cancer. The American Cancer Society does NOT list the foreskin as a risk factor for penile cancer (smoking, poor hygiene, and unsafe sex with multiple partners ARE given as risk factors), nor do they recommend infant circumcision to prevent penile cancer. Since our infant sons are NOT at risk for penile cancer, they can decide for themselves when they are older whether they feel circumcision will protect them against penile cacenr. This is not a decision that needs to be made for an infant.

It also reduces the risk of UTI's, which is caused by a bacteria that can infect the kidneys and cause scarring. Such scarring, which is estimated to occur in about half of babies who suffer UTIs in childhood, can sometimes lead to high blood pressure and even kidney failure later in life.

Such scare tactics most surely come from a pro-circumcision source!

So if I can reduce that risk by more then 10% thats another good reason.

The only study that ever reported intact babies getting 10 times as many UTIs as circumcised babies compared healthy, full-term babies who were circumcised and sent home to premature or otherwise unhealthy babies who were too sick to be circumcised; many were hospitlaized and catheterized. This is hardly a valid comparison, and in spite of the fact that such a huge difference has never been replicated by another study, circumcision advocates continue to use the 10% figure to scare parents into circumcising their healthy baby boys.

To put this into perspective: baby boys - circumcised or not - are much less likely to get UTIs than baby girls. Circumcision does NOT prevent UTIs. Girls and circumcised boys who get UTIs are treated with antibiotics. There is no reason at all that boys with foreskins cannot receive exactly the same treatment.

Studies also suggest that circumcision can prevent certain minor problems that affect boys' penises. One recent study found that 11 percent of uncircumcised men visiting urology clinics have balanitis, an inflammation of the foreskin, or phimosis, a too-tight foreskin that, in severe cases, requires surgery.

Another scare tactic! Does your statistic mean that 11% of intact men have balanitis or phimosis? Of course not - only those that visited the clinic WITH PROBLEMS. I could say that 85% of all teenage boys visiting the dermatologist have severe acne - but that doesn't mean that such a high percentage of boys does. Looking at it another way - 79% of the men visiting a urology clinic had NO problems with their foreskin! As you said, balanitis is an inflammation - does that sound like something you would treat with amputation? If you wouldn't treat it that way, why does it make sense to try to prevent it with amputation?

As for phimosis - you're right, in severe cases surgery may be indicated, but not circumcision. A dorsal slit is sufficient. And the vast majority of cases of true phimosis can be treated with steroid cream and stretching - not surgery required at all. Does it make sense to amputate a part of a boys' genitals to avoid an uncommon condition that can be treated without surgery? Not to me it doesn't.

Now I'm not trying to argue with you but just giving you more info.

Thank you for the information, but it obviously came from a source strongly advocating circumcision. It is not supported by fact or common sense.

They give babies medicine they dont just strap them down and cut it. Some hospitals even do it in the room if you want, you can see thats not how its done anymore.

Here's how it IS done: Baby IS strapped to a circumstraint, with his arms and legs restrained. He may or may not be given a topical anesthetic; if he is, they may or may not wait 20 minutes until it has taken effect. He may or may not receive an injection of anesthesia; if he is, they may or may not wait for it to take effect.

The reality is that many babies are circumcised with no pain relief at all during the operation, and even more get no pain relief at all in the week or so that the wound is healing.

You have brought up many of the most common pro-circumcision scare tactics, and I appreciate the opportunity to dispel those myths!
 

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Quote:
One recent study found that 11 percent of uncircumcised men visiting urology clinics have balanitis, an inflammation of the foreskin, or phimosis, a too-tight foreskin that, in severe cases, requires surgery.
How many intact men never needed to visit the urology clinics in the first place? That's hardly an unbiased sample!
 

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I don't know if it's too late, but here are some solid, quick, medical facts to refute her uneducated arguments. I hope these are helpful.

Circumcision lowers your son's chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the first year of life.

· Not one confirmed UTI case in a normal male infant. All cases in infants with clear urinary birth defects. (Altschul, M. Cultural Bias and the UTI Circumcision Controversy. Truth Seeker, July 1989;1:43-45)

· Antimicrobial management of UTI in infants is routine and outcome generally good. It is inappropriate at this time to recommend circumcision as a routine medically indicated procedure. (McCracken, G. Options in Antimicrobial Mgmt. of UTI in Infants-Children. Ped Infect Dis J, Aug 1989;8:552-555)

· Reported benefits in preventing cancer and infant UTIs are insignificant compared to surgical risks. (Lawler, F. Circumcision: Decision Analysis of its Medical Value. Family Medicine, 1991;23:587- 593)

· 295 circumcisions would be needed to prevent one hospital admission for UTI in the first year of life. (T, Agha M, Dick PT, Feldman W. Cohort study on circumcision of newborn boys and subsequent risk of urinary-tract infection. Lancet 1998;352(9143):1813-16.)

Although a rare condition, cancer of the penis is essentially eliminated in circumcised males.

· The American Cancer Society issued a five part advisory statement on penile cancer in June 1999. Circumcision is not considered to be beneficial in preventing or reducing the risk of penile cancer. The ACS identifies HPV, smoking, and phimosis as risk factors. (New Engl J Med 2002;47(18):1448.)

· Penile cancer is rare (occurring in about 9 out of a million men). "There is no proven, documented medical reason that says circumcision is better, as long as you teach your child to pull back the foreskin and wash," says Dr. Karin Blakemore. (Director of the maternal-fetal medicine division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

· The most significant argument that has been put forth for circumcision is that it prevents cancer of the penis. This may be true, but even proponents of circumcision admit that there have been occurrences of penile cancer in men circumcised as infants. Cancer of the penis occurs, on average, in men aged 55 years, and is one of the least common malignancies in men, representing ½ of 1% of all cancers in men and occurring at a rate of less than one case per 100,000 per year in the United States. This is the same incidence as in the countries of Northern Europe, where infant circumcision is almost unknown. (James L. Snyder, M.D. The Truth Seeker, pp 39-42, July/August 1989)

Research shows that males who are circumcised have a slightly lower risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

· Circumcision has no significant effect on the incidence of common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). (Donovan, B. Male Circumcision & Common STDs in Developed Nation Setting. Genitourin Med, 1994;70:317-320)

· We embrace recent research that reveals circumcision provides no discernible prophylactic benefit and may in fact increase the likelihood of STD contraction. Chlamydial infection correlates strongly with the circumcised condition. We assert that more reasonable and effective means of preventing STDs include abstinence, monogamy, sex and health education programs, condom use, and good personal hygiene behaviors. (Laumann, E. Circumcision in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 277, no. 19, April 2, 1997:1052-1057)

Circumcision eliminates foreskin infection that occur at the peak ages of 3 to 5 years.

· About 16 deaths in children under 5 years occur each year from circumcision. In most of the fatalities which have come to my notice death has occurred for no apparent reason under anesthesia, but hemorrhage and infection have sometimes proved fatal. (Gairdner D. The fate of the foreskin: a study of circumcision. Br Med J 1949;2:1433-7)

· There's no medical reason to circumcise. In fact, there may be a good reason to leave well enough alone. Dr. Van Howe's study of 468 boys found that 54 percent of circumcised boys under age three had minor penile problems, such as swellings and skin adhesions. Only 5 percent of their uncut brethren had such irritation.

· But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until separation occurs, do not try to pull the foreskin back - especially an infant's. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready may severely harm the penis and cause pain, infection, bleeding and tears in the skin. (2000 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Circumcision prevents phimosis, a narrow opening that makes it impossible to retract the foreskin at a later age.

· Infant circumcision was virtually abandoned by Britain in 1949 with the institution of the National Health Service. The current infant circumcision rate is less than one half of 1%. About 7% of British boys are circumcised before reaching adulthood because of premature diagnosis of phimosis (non-retractable foreskin), a normal condition that may not resolve until late adolescence. (British Dept. of Health and Social Security, cited by Wallerstein in Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy)

· It appears that many boys are circumcised for development non-retractability of the prepuce rather than for true phimosis and that in consequence some two-thirds of the operations are unnecessary. (Rickwood AMK, Walker J. Is phimosis overdiagnosed in boys and are too many circumcisions performed in consequence? Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1989;71(5):275-7.)

· Almost fifty years ago, Gairdner (1949) presented that foreskin development is normal in 99% of boys by the age of fifteen, and how only 15% of boys have a retractable foreskin by six months. More recent British researchers discuss, how "Confusion over the term phimosis [i.e., the normal unretracted foreskin at birth versus the forcible retraction by a physician] continues, so that many children are thought to have a pathological condition when often there is none" (Williams, Chell, & Kapila, 1993, p. 29), and concludes with the point that physicians lack adequate understanding of this issue.

Genital hygiene, which is particularly important in unsanitary conditions, may be easier after circumcision.

· The natural penis requires no special care. A child's foreskin, like his eyelids, is self-cleansing. For the same reason it is inadvisable to lift the eyelids and wash the eyeballs, it is inadvisable to retract a child's foreskin and wash the glans. Immersion in plain water during the bath is all that is needed to keep the intact penis clean. (American Academy of Pediatrics, Newborns: Care of the Uncircumcised Penis: Guidelines for Parents (Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 1994)

· Boys with an intact foreskin have health advantages over those who have been circumcised. The intact foreskin protects the glans penis from ammoniacal diapers and prevents meatitis, meatal ulceration, and meatal stenosis. The sub-preputial moisture contains lysozyme, an enzyme that attacks and destroys pathogens. Intact boys don't have an open circumcision wound that may become infected and so they have fewer infections. Intact boys are not troubled with adhesions or skin bridges, which are complications of circumcision. (Fleiss P, Hodges F, Van Howe RS. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. Sex Trans Inf 1998;74:364-367)

· Hygiene. We teach little girls how to clean and care for their bodies. Maybe little boys can learn how too. (Dr. Mark Baldridge; Phallic Fear Causes Unconscionable Cutting)

· A program of education leading to continuing good personal hygiene would offer all the advantages of routine circumcision without the attendant surgical risk. (The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004)

· Let's also remember that we do not a) live in unsanitary conditions and b) the statements reads "…may be easier after circumcision".

Keeps your son's appearance "like other boys" or "like his father." Boys may not mind looking different from other males in their family. However, they do mind being harassed in the locker room or shower about their foreskin. This could happen if most of their buddies are circumcised. It can be emotionally painful to be a trailblazer about the appearance of one's genitals.

· With 48% of newborns currently keeping their foreskins, it's not clear who will look different than whom. (Dick Gilkeson; Mentor, Volume 4, Number 3, Fall 1992)

· A recent nationwide survey of adult men which was done by "Men's Confidential" magazine clearly indicates that a significantly higher percentage of adult men who are intact are satisfied with their intact status than circumcised men are with their circumcised status." [Morgan] More and more men are reporting that they were harmed by circumcision. [Hammond]

· In an anonymous survey I created and posted on www.BabyCenter.com (on the September 2004 birth board), 73.6% of the 208 respondents did not circumcise their sons. This says to me that circ'd men are the ones who might be viewed differently in a locker room. This is a board made up of mainstream moms and dads.

· A good article: http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/Like-Son.htm

Circumcised men may also be at lower risk for penile cancer, although the disease is rare in both circumcised and uncircumcised males. Although some studies indicate that the procedure might offer an additional line of defense against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), particularly HIV, the results of studies in this area are conflicting and difficult to interpret.

· The American Cancer Society issued a five part advisory statement on penile cancer in June 1999. Circumcision is not considered to be beneficial in preventing or reducing the risk of penile cancer. The ACS identifies HPV, smoking, and phimosis as risk factors. (New Engl J Med 2002;47(18):1448.)

· Based on the studies published in the scientific literature, it is incorrect to assert that circumcision prevents HIV infection. Even if studies showing circumcision to be beneficial are accurate, the risk from circumcision outweighs any small benefit it may have. To depend on circumcision to protect against HIV infection in lieu of condoms, which have been shown to be efficacious, is dangerous. (Allen S, Serufilira A, Bogaerts J, et al. Confidential HIV testing and condom promotion in Africa. Impact on HIV and gonorrhea rates. JAMA 1992;268:3338-43. Allen S, Tice J, Van de Perre P, et al. Effect of serotesting with counseling on condom use and seroconversion among HIV discordant couples in Africa. BMJ 1992;304:1605-9)

· The potential public-health benefits of male circumcision have been greatly discussed in the past 50 years, often in a passionate and emotional manner. However, relatively few studies have been carried out and those that have, present conflicting results. The major criticism of most of the studies preformed to date is the lack of attention given to potential confounding factors, which could be related to both circumcision status and risk of sexually transmitted infections, such as sexual behaviour or differences in hygienic practices, or differential use of specific health facilities. As Poland noted, "We must remember that circumcision is not performed randomly." (Poland RL: The question of routine neonatal circumcision. NEJM 1990, 322:1312-1315.)

· We recognize that circumcision was introduced into the Unites States as an attempt to reduce sexual pleasure (e.g., masturbation). Recent research suggests that circumcision may indeed hinder sexual response, compelling circumcised men to compensate with quantity of partners (promiscuity) and variety of sexual behaviors (oral and anal sex). These behaviors may increase stimulation, but they also increase one's risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. (Laumann, E. Circumcision in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 277, no. 19, April 2, 1997:1052-1057.)
 
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