Sexually transmitted infections and risk of prostate cancer: review of historical and emerging hypotheses

Future Oncol. 2010 Aug;6(8):1289-311. doi: 10.2217/fon.10.95.


Since the early 1950s when sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were first proposed as a possible risk factor for prostate cancer, numerous epidemiologic studies have been conducted. Initially, these studies were primarily small case-control studies with retrospective, self-reported assessments of a narrow range of STIs, typically either any STIs, or gonorrhea and syphilis. However, as new STIs have been discovered/recognized, new and better tests to detect histories of STIs have been developed, and new resources for prostate cancer research have been created, epidemiologic studies have expanded to include a wide range of STIs, and have moved towards more rigorous, prospective study designs and serological assessment of STI histories. The results of these studies are reviewed and discussed, as well as possible new avenues of research, such as Trichomonas vaginalis infection and infections not typically considered to be sexually transmitted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / complications*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis