Body Cancer Men’s Health

Masturbation: A Prostate Cancer Preventative?

Designated as National Cancer Prevention Month, February serves as a reminder to focus on lifestyle choices that mitigate cancer risks. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco, and being mindful of potential risk factors. Understanding prostate health is particularly important for Black men in the context of cancer prevention.

Did you know there are close relationships among prostate health, masturbation, and cancer prevention? However, it’s important for us to understand that we must recognize and openly have sex-positive dialogues and no longer see masturbation as taboo. This article explores prostate cancer within the Black community, 4 benefits of masturbation, and promoting awareness within our community.

Rates of Prostate Cancer in Black Men

Prostate cancer stands as a prevalent condition affecting men, with over 190,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. The prostate, a small gland located beneath the bladder, plays an important role in male reproductive health by producing seminal fluid. However, age-related factors increase the risk of prostate cancer, underscoring the importance of preventive measures. The American Cancer Society (January 2022) provides statistics on prostate cancer incidence by race. As of 2021:

  • Lifetime Risk: The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is approximately 1 in 7 for white men and 1 in 5 for Black men in the United States
  • Incidence Rates: Black men have a higher incidence rate of prostate cancer compared to white men. The rate is approximately 76% higher for Black men than for white men

Prostate Health, Masturbation, and Black Men

As we look at the topics of prostate health and masturbation, it is first important to address the racial disparities in prostate cancer incidence. Since Black men are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer, there is an urgent need for targeted awareness and preventive strategies within our community.

Research indicates a potential link between regular ejaculation and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that frequent ejaculation during youth correlated with a lower risk of prostate cancer later in life.

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing remains a valuable tool for prostate cancer screening. Studies have explored whether ejaculation (masturbation and sexual sexual contact, both) frequency affects PSA levels, with some indicating a temporary PSA increase after prolonged abstinence. A high PSA level can mean one has prostate cancer or a prostate condition that may be a condition like an infection or enlarged prostate.

However, it’s important to understand that there are limitations with PSA testing. For example, there may be high PSA levels from non-cancer-related conditions and general infections. This underscores the importance of approaching PSA testing with a comprehensive understanding of its context, particularly in high-risk populations such as Black men. There are four key ways masturbation affects the prostate:

  1. Prostate Cancer Risk
    • The previously mentioned study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that men who ejaculated more frequently during their lifetime had a lower risk of prostate cancer because regular ejaculation may help flush out potential carcinogens and reduce the risk of cell mutations
  2. Prostate Inflammation:
    • Ejaculation, whether through sexual activity or masturbation, may help in clearing substances from the prostate that could contribute to inflammation
  3. Hormonal Influence:
    • Sexual activity, including masturbation, can influence hormone levels. Some studies suggest that regular ejaculation may help regulate testosterone levels, which could have implications for overall prostate health
  4. Improving Prostate Fluid Quality:
    • Frequent ejaculation may lead to the production of fresher semen, potentially improving the overall quality of prostate fluid and fertility

Masturbation not only potentially contributes to prostate health but is also recognized as a natural stress-relief method. Chronic stress, linked to various health issues, can contribute to cancer development through inflammation.

Regular sexual activity, including masturbation, is associated with stress reduction and improved mental well-being. We tend to release more endorphins during sexual activity, contributing to relaxation and emotional balance.

While the potential link between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer risk is intriguing, balance is essential. Masturbation is a normal and healthy part of sexual expression, and individuals should not feel pressured or shamed by specific frequency norms.

The Masturbation Taboo

The taboo surrounding discussions about male masturbation can be attributed to a mix of cultural, religious, and societal factors. Historically, many cultures have perpetuated a stigma around sexuality, viewing it as a private and sensitive matter. This has led to the creation of social norms that discourage open conversations about sexual practices, including masturbation. Religious beliefs, moral codes, and societal expectations often contribute to the perception that discussions about self-pleasure are inappropriate or shameful. Society’s constant emphasis on privacy and modesty, particularly about intimate matters, can further reinforce the reluctance to openly address masturbation, creating an environment where we feel uncomfortable having sex-positive discussions.

Also there are gender stereotypes and societal expectations within the Black community around what makes a man, amplifying taboos about masturbation. There has also been a global stereotype about male sexuality being more aggressive, contributing to feelings of shame when discussing personal sexual habits. Breaking down these taboos requires challenging ingrained societal attitudes, promoting comprehensive sex education that includes discussions about healthy sexual practices, and fostering a community where individuals feel and are empowered to engage in open and honest conversations about their sexual well-being without fear of judgment or stigma.

As we navigate National Cancer Prevention Month, fostering awareness and education about cancer risks and preventive strategies is crucial. Incorporating statistics regarding the heightened risk faced by Black men in the context of prostate cancer emphasizes the urgency for targeted interventions and outreach within this community. As such, maintaining a holistic approach to cancer prevention involves multiple factors. A balanced lifestyle, including exercise, a nutritious diet, and stress management, significantly contributes to overall well-being.

Promoting overall health through a balanced lifestyle remains key. As Elevate Black Health strives for better awareness during National Cancer Prevention Month, let’s open conversations about men’s health while destigmatizing discussions around sexual practices that contribute to a healthy life.


  1. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Prostate Cancer Overview.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Ejaculation Frequency and Prostate Cancer.
  3. Journal of the American Medical Association. (2004). Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer.
  4. Mayo Clinic. (2021). PSA test.
  5. American Cancer Society. (2021). Prostate Cancer Facts & Figures for Black Men.

About the author

Stephen Earley Jordan II

Stephen Earley Jordan is the lead writer, editor and founder of Elevate Black Health. He has 25+ years in the public health and pharmaceutical marketing industry. He has worked on various public health campaigns for various organizations, including New York City Department of Health. Campaigns include: smoking cessation, healthy children, trans fat, HIV/AIDS, Flu Vaccines, Safe homes, and more. Jordan has worked with multicultural divisions to ensure all literature was translated into six additional languages for the specific targeted demographics. Jordan has also spent time in the pharmaceutical marketing industry, and worked on various marketing campaigns for oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, probiotics, medical devices, facial fillers, thyroid- and dry-eye diseases, and numerous rare diseases. He has assisted in the production of print and digital pieces alike.

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