Sexual Intimacy with 10 or more Partners in Lifetime could Increase Cancer Risk

Risk of a cancer diagnosis grew by 69% in men who had 10 or more sexual partners in a lifetime compared to those who had 0-1 lifetime sexual partners.

According to a new research study recently published in the BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health journal, the risk of cancer may be heightened in people who have 10 or more sexual partners throughout their life. Cross-sectional data from over 3,000 women and more than 2,000 men aged 50 years and under who participated in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing was used for the study. The researchers noted the number of sexual partners these men and women had in their lifetime. The participants also self-reported any limiting long-standing conditions and self-rated their health.

Results from the study showed that the risk of a cancer diagnosis grew by 69% in men who had 10 or more sexual partners in a lifetime compared to those who had 0-1 sexual partners. On the other hand, the risk jumped by 91% in women with 10 or more sexual partners in their lifetime.

“The heightened risk of cancer might be driven by those types that are known to be associated with [STIs],” wrote the researchers in their study.

Higher number of sexual partners linked to increased chances of reported cancer

The participants were asked about their sexual history between 2012 and 2013. Clinical assessment of cancer risk in older adults may be improved as doctors understand the predictive value of the number of sexual partners in a lifetime as a behavioral risk, the study suggests. The researchers showed a link between increased odds of reported cancer and a higher lifetime number of sexual partners. For both genders, the risk of cancer increases with having more number of sexual partners.

Men who reported to have 2-4 lifetime sexual partners were 57% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer compared to those having 0-1 sexual partners in a lifetime. Women who reported to have 5 or more than 5 sexual partners in their lifetime were 64% more likely to suffer from a limited chronic condition.

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