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Masturbation may offer cancer protection.

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VICTORIA, Australia, Jul 17, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A new study by Australian scientists indicates frequent masturbation by men in their 20s provides protection against prostate cancer later in life.

The study, published Thursday in The New Scientist, said men who ejaculated more than five times a week between the ages of 20 and 50, were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. The study involved more than 2000 Australian men.

Graham Giles, the lead researcher, told New Scientist: "The men who were the high performers, in terms of ejaculating ... in their 20s, 30s and 40s, had about a third less prostate cancer risk than men in the lowest category of ejaculation.

The Australian newspaper said the researchers speculate regular ejaculation prevents semen from accumulating and becoming carcinogenic. Such potential carcinogens are not removed through sexual intercourse.

The results contradict previous studies that suggested men who had many sexual partners or high levels of sexual activity could increase the risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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