If Facebook causes cancer, porn prevents it

19th Feb 2009 | 12:40

If Facebook causes cancer, porn prevents it

Opinion: We counter the Daily Mail's report with our own expert findings

The Daily Mail's quest to divide the world into things that cause cancer and things that cure cancer has reached the internet: it turns out that Facebook causes cancer.

According to psychologist - that's psychologist, not oncologist - Dr Aric Sigman, spending all day poking people "may have wide-ranging biological effects", could "alter the way genes work and upset immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries." It could "also impair mental performance."

Yes, it could, but you could equally say that MySpace increases your risk of being killed by a vampire because you'd be too busy stalking Lily Allen to spot Dracula going for your neck.

But if we're going to take this internet cancer stuff seriously, why don't we look at the other side of the coin? Because it turns out that internet porn can prevent cancer. Hooray!

We're not making it up, either, because just like the Daily Mail we've found some experts to back us up. According to Australian researchers, "men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation". Significantly, "the protective effect was greatest while the men were in their twenties" and "men who ejaculated more than five times in a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life."

Ready for the science bit? Over to you, Dr Graham Giles of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne.

"It's a prostatic stagnation hypothesis," he told New Scientist. Did you hear that? A prostatic stagnation hypothesis! That's SCIENCE! "The more you flush your ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that cause them."

The bad news? It doesn't work for women, because of course women don't have prostates. But for men, the answer is clear: if you care about your health and don't want to get cancer, don't poke people on Facebook - watch people getting poked instead.

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