Sunday, May 31, 2009

American Males: Damaged by Circumcision the Anti-Circs Say

If you're circumcised like me, then when the anti-circ foreskin lovers spout this bullshit (excuse the language) about us being damaged, you can't help but wonder what they're drinking. Check out this youtube video of a circumcised dude who left his son wtih a filthy foreskin. He's a so-called "intactivist" who marched on Washington (all ten of them) to protest "genital mutilation" of males in America. What do you think of this?

Music Soothes Circumcision of Infants

When I was circumcised at birth in the 1980s, nobody bothered with any kind of pain relief like many docs use today. Personally, I think it's a waste of time and money, but if it helps parents feel better, go for it. My own view is that whatever pain there is, if any, it's momentary, and most of us circumcised males never remember it anyways.

Now there's another study that suggests that playing music during newborn circumcision soothes the child. Great, if it works. There's no real way to measure pain in an infant anyways, as increased heart beats and breathing would be natural with any snip, snip. Most of this "pain" talk comes from the anti-circs who want us to feel like we are murdering our own kids when we give them the life protection of a clean-cut penis. I've heard the foreskin lovers have gone so far as to dub in shrieks and wails to medical videos of newborn circumcisions. Just another form of photo-shopping.

When it comes to music, hey if it makes the parents feel better, again, be my guest. I don't think the kid cares at all about it, any more than they do about pain meds. Boys have been circumcised for thousands of years, and the old-fashioned ways still work for me. Here's a clip from the article. Please comment below.

"Music Soothes Circumcision Pain"

"Music may reduce pain for babies during certain procedures, research suggests"

Posted May 28, 2009

By LiveScience Staff, LiveScience

"Music may help ease pain and provide therapeutic benefits for babies undergoing common medical procedures, including circumcision, according to new research.

"Neonatal units are increasingly using music as a way to manage pain for babies during routine practices. It is thought that playing music helps calm babies and stabilize some of their vital functions. However, past research has not been strong enough to back up these claims.

"To evaluate music's effects on infants, scientists from the University of Alberta in Canada reviewed nine previous studies published between 1989 and 2006, which included both premature and full-term babies.

"It was hard to draw an absolute conclusion from these trials because they included different study populations that were tested in different ways, and some of the trials were not set up optimally. However, the Alberta researchers found very preliminary evidence that music has a beneficial effect during certain procedures, such as blood sampling and circumcision.

"One study, which the researchers rated as high quality, looked at the effect of lullabies and nursery rhymes during circumcision. The results showed that playing music did help lower pain and prevent the babies' heart rates from increasing."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Is Tattooing a Child Worse than Circumcision?

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is getting dozens of comments on this posted question: "Is tattoing a child worse than piercing ears, circumcision?" It's a question that comes about because a father has been charged with child abuse for tattoing his 3-year old son.

Of course, there's no parallel at all between inflicting a tattoo on a child and giving him the life protection of circumcision. One has no value except to satisfy the father's weird tatt desires, while the other -- the removal of the disease-inflicting foreskin -- is recommended by the World Health Organization to protect the male and his parents. Most of the posters see the immediate difference, but it's still amusing to see the anti-circ foreskin lovers carry on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

TSA Full Body Scanners Can See Circumcisions

We all know the stories about uncircumcised males being embarrassed about their foreskins, at least in circumcised countries like America. Turns out the new full body imaging scanners being put in place by the TSA at airports across the country are so detailed that TSA will soon know the circumcision status of every dude who gets scanned. I haven't yet heard if the anti-circumcision groups are up-in-foreskins, oops, I mean up-in-arms about this, but it wouldn't surprise me. Keeping track of the nation's uncircumcised males is one way to know who is the most likely threat to public health, I suppose. The TSA is obviously looking for objects and devices that can blow up planes, but I dare say that more people have died from foreskins infecting a male or his partners (especially female) with HIV, HPV, STDs, and other ailments than from a bomb on board an American plane.

Anybody think the day will come when the TSA will haul aside uncircumcised dudes and send them off to a doctor? I admit, that's extreme. But you do wonder whether knowledge that a man's circumcision status will be checked every time he goes through an airport has any impact on circumcision rates in the USA.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Foreskin on the Forehead: The Latest in Beauty"

A fellow named Buck Wolf posted that headline and the following article on Friday. Turns out the Brits have found at least one good use for the otherwise disgusting foreskin -- grind it up and use it in skin treatments. The product is called Vavelta (not to be confused with Velveeta, the cheese product that foreskins and smegma might remind you of), and it apparently really helps damaged skin. So instead of discarding those ugly little pieces of foreskin, let's recycle them to help our ladies!

"If you find the idea of taking Botox injections disgusting, why not try a little foreskin on the forehead? Scientific American is reporting that 150 patients in Britain have received injections of Vavelta, a skin treatment derived from the discarded foreskins of babies intended to rejuvenate damaged skin, including wrinkles, acne, burns and surgical incisions.

"It seems that Vavelta is brimming with fibrobrasts, a skin firming protein that becomes scarce with age. The treatment is approved in the U.K., but the F.D.A. has yet to approve the drug.
Of course, many boys have been circumcised for generations, and no one seems to ask where the foreskins end up. Some, we now now, end up on women's faces. But if you support stem cell research (and I do), how can you oppose this?"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

UK Headline: Should All Boys Be Circumcised?

When a British newspaper, a country where circumcision was sadly abandoned a couple generations ago, headlines an article like this -- "Should All Boys Be Circumcised?" -- then you know that the overwhelming medical evidence to circumcise all boys is sinking in.

I love the reporter's lead sentence: "If you were the parent of a baby boy and were told a minor operation could provide him with protection against three diseases (at least) that kill millions worldwide, would you be interested? It is safe to assume that you would. When, however, you discovered that the operation in question was circumcision, would your enthusiasm dwindle?"

In Great Britain, unlike America, the foreskin had a come-back, so being clean cut -- while perfectly acceptable -- is not the norm. At least not yet. The good news is that more British sons are being circumcised, as the growing evidence for universal circumcision mounts. So here's a shout-out to our British cousins (who actually introduced circumcision to America a hundred years ago) who are following the medical science to a clean-cut country.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pro-Circ Doc to Head Centers for Disease Control

Good news for the circumcision movement! President Obama has named Thomas Frieden, MD, to be the new Director of the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Frieden has been the New York City Health Commissioner. He drove the anti-circs crazy when the New York Times reported that NYC would recommend that all males be circumcised to prevent the spread of HIV. Frieden apparently backed away, or claimed that was never the original intent, but in a letter to the NYT on April 9, 2007, he encouraged discussion of this issue, saying he awaited "stronger evidence." His letter is below, but NOTE that it was written two years ago. In those two years, we now have incredibly strong evidence of the value of circumcision in reducing not only HIV but HPV and STDs in both men and women. Dr. Frieden's appointment is a significant blow to the anti-circumcision fanatics, as he appears to be a man who wants to follow the science.

Old Letter to NYT from new CDC Director:

"The New York City Health Department has not planned, developed or announced a campaign to encourage at-risk men to get circumcised. Like other domestic health agencies, we are encouraging people to discuss and study this issue."

"Because circumcision has the potential to decrease H.I.V. transmission by more than half, we hope that men who choose the procedure will have access to it. A campaign to promote circumcision in this country would be premature without stronger evidence, but the time is right for a communitywide dialogue."

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. New York City Health Commissioner New York, April 9, 2007

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WTF -- Docs Who Retract Foreskins Are Child Abusers?

I try to monitor some of the many health-related blogs on the internet, and it's amazing how much free time the anti-circumcision FLs ("foreskin lovers") seem to have. Every health blog gets attacked by the FLs who twist and turn a non-related health subject into one on their favorite subject: circumcision as a child abuse issue.

A recent posting from a pediatrician discussed the importance of doctors who examine children keeping a close eye open for child abuse. We all agree with that. But, no surprise, some whacky FL commented on the abuse of circumcision. His first line was to attack pediatricians who retract the foreskins of uncircumcised boys. WTF. The foreskin is a filthy, diseased cover that collects smegma and harmful germs in close proximity to an otherwise healthy penis. The notion that a pediatrician who gently retracts the foreskin to make sure the child's penis is okay has somehow engaged in child abuse is preposterous.

No surprise, that comment elicited even more stupid responses from anti-circ FLs. You know the argument: circumcising boys is child abuse, blah, blah, blah. Of course, they never mention that it is the healthy smart thing for parents to do to protect their children. But the image they want to conjure is that baby docs, the pediatricians, will report all circumcised boys to the authorities for "child abuse." What nonsense.

If there are any child abusers in this story, clearly it is the parents who harm their sons by failing to circumcise them at birth. Those are the real child abusers, but you won't hear stories about that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good Use for the Worthless Foreskin

The disease-entrapping foreskin can cause real harm to the male and his partners -- but researchers have known for years that detached from the human penis the foreskin may have some good uses. The most important one, it seems to me, is to help burn victims and others who need skin grafts. When we achieve 100% circumcision rates, we will increase the supply of foreskins for this important function. Here's an excerpt from a recent article that cites work at Wake Forest, suggesting that skin grafts from foreskins may be better than regular skin grafts. Now this is a good use for the otherwise worthless foreskin.

"At present, skin grafts can be expanded by making cuts in them to create a mesh, or by inserting balloons under the graft once it has been attached to the body.

"These gradually expand, stretching the overlying skin. But, skin meshes heal unevenly and balloons are painful, take months to expand fully and leave scars.

"According to a report in New Scientist, to try to improve on this, Sang Jin Lee of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, took foreskin donated after circumcision and placed it between vices inside a bioreactor, a vessel that bathes the skin in nutrients to encourage cell growth and division.

"The vices were controlled by a computer and could be set to move apart at specific times.
The researchers found that the best method was to stretch the skin at hourly intervals, leaving it to produce new cells in the meantime, then stretching it again.

"By doing this, they were able to elongate the skin by 20 per cent a day, which after five days resulted in an intact strip that was twice as long as the original.

"Tests of the stretched skin showed that its general structure was maintained and that its thickness and pore size were almost identical to the starting tissue.

"Lee said that they have since added extra vices to stretch skin lengthways and widthways at the same time."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Taking Lessons from Botswana on Universal Circumcision

The United States government should take a page or two out of Botswana's commitment to universal circumcision. It's downright embarrassing that we send millions of dollars overseas to circumcise Africans but can't get our act together here at home. Maybe one of these days we can follow Botswana's lead. See story below.

Botswana plans to circumcise nearly half a million

GABORONE (AFP) — Botswana, which has one of the world's highest HIV infection rates, has launched a scheme to circumcise nearly half a million men to curb the spread the disease, the health ministry said Thursday.

The country hopes to circumcise 460,000 men over the next five years, after a series of studies found that circumcised men were two to three times less likely to contract HIV, said Janet Mwambona, a public health specialist in charge of the project.

"For the public health benefits of the preventive effect of circumcision to be realised, the Ministry of Health is supposed to cover 80 percent of eligible males in Botswana," she said.
Government is running television and radio campaigns to encourage men to visit clinics for safe circumcision procedures.

"All primary and district hospitals are currently booking clients and performing the procedure," added Mwambona.

About 50 healthcare providers, including 27 doctors have undergone training on surgical circumcision.

The rapid spread of HIV and AIDS once threatened the survival of the approximately two million people of the land-locked southern African country, until the introduction of antiretroviral drugs in 2003.

According to a 2005 UNAIDS report, Botswana's HIV prevalence among pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 24 has stayed between 35 and 37 percent since 2001.
The rate among the older pregnant women was last measured at 43 percent in 2003.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Listen to the Medical Doctors: Circumcise Now!

Below are just a couple of quotations from some noted medical doctors that I think we all should respect. Of course, the FLs ("foreskin lovers") will disparage these docs in the misguided, ongoing anti-circ effort to protect their beloved foreskin. But with a respected doctor like Anthony Fauci says, "Circumcise!" maybe the American Academy of Pediatrics will listen.

“Medically supervised adult male circumcision is a scientifically proven method for reducing a man’s risk of acquiring HIV infection through heterosexual intercourse,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This new research provides compelling evidence that circumcision can provide some protection against genital herpes and human papillomavirus infections as well.”

“The cumulative scientific evidence supporting the public health value of medically supervised male circumcision is now overwhelming,” says Thomas C. Quinn, M.D., study co-investigator, chief of the International HIV/STD Section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation and co-author of the study. “This new research confirms the substantial health benefits of male circumcision, including reduced acquisition of HIV, genital herpes, HPV and genital ulcer disease.”

"These findings have significant public health implications for the control of HIV, genital herpes and HPV in areas of high prevalence, such as Africa, and further suggest that efforts to scale-up male circumcision could have tremendous benefit,” said Dr. David Serwadda, co-principal investigator and dean of Makerere University’s School of Public Health.

In the eyes of the anti-circumcision fanatics, these doctors must just be looney.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Circumcision Reduces Chance of Swine Flu, H1N1

Could male circumcision reduce the chance of getting H1N1, better known as the swine flu? It's not as far-fetched as some anti-circumcision fanatics might wish. Consider the countries where swine flu has been most devastating. Mexico is an uncircumcised country. They have 590 cases, so far, with 25 deaths. The much larger USA, which is mostly circumcised, has had only 1 death and 225 milder cases.

Now obviously other factors could contribute to the ability of circumcised Americans to withstand the ravages of this flu disease. But the link between the foreskin and swine flu should be examined by the World Health Organization, which already recommends male circumcision to reduce HIV, HPV, and STDs. The FLs ("foreskin lovers") will no doubt jump all over any suggestion of a link betwen swine flu and uncircumcised males -- and this might be a case where there is no link -- but the fact that the country with the most cases of H1N1 and deaths from this is largely uncircumcised should at least give people pause.