Friday, January 30, 2009

Active sex life supposedly 'cuts prostate cancer risk' - once you're over fifty

This is all self-report and self-report is maximally unreliable in sexual matters. It is probably more a study of attributions than of behaviour

Having an active sex life in their 50s could protect men against prostate cancer, say researchers. But greater levels of sexual activity among men in their 20s could increase their chances of developing the disease in later life, they warn. Men who are `very' sexually active in their 20s and 30s are more at risk, a study shows. Researchers at Nottingham University conclude that keeping up a regular sex life - rather than excessive activity in younger years followed by a fallow period - is best for men's health.

Dr Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, now at the University of Cambridge, said: `We were keen to look at the links between sexual activity and younger men as a lot of prostate cancer studies focus on older men as the disease is more prevalent in men over 50. Hormones appear to play a key role in prostate cancer and it is very common to treat men with therapy to reduce the hormones thought to stimulate the cancer cells. `A man's sex drive is also regulated by his hormone levels, so this study examined the theory that having a high sex drive affects the risk of prostate cancer.'

Each year 30,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in Britain. The disease remains the second most common cause of death for men in the UK, killing 10,000 a year. The study looked at the sexual practices of more than 431 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in their 50s, compared with 409 cancer- free men.

Engaging in sexual activity more than 20 times a month between the 20s and 30s increased the risk of prostate cancer, says a report in this month's issue of the British Journal of Urology International. But frequent activity in a man's 40s and later appeared to have little impact on their risk. Men in their 50s who were most sexually active, engaging in sexual activity more than ten times a month, had a `small' level of protection against the disease.

Dr Dimitripolou said: `One theory is that during the early years the prostate gland is more susceptible to hormonal changes and is still developing. `As men age and accumulate toxins from the diet or through their lungs, sexual activity may help release them.'

SOURCE reminder service signs up 100,000 people

My wife once said something very wise to me: "All women hate to be told they are hormonal -- especially when they are!" I have been known to mark a calendar myself

ONE hundred thousand men sick of copping a monthly serve from cranky wives and girlfriends have signed up for an online reminder service that warns when pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is about to hit., the brainchild of a 28-year-old bloke whose mates were too often in cycle-related strife, is designed for men who have a darling of a partner for three weeks of the month - and a demon for the rest. The reminders include pithy messages of encouragement such as "She's on yellow - tread carefully, fella" - as well as tips for how men can mitigate the damage. It tells men never to ask if a woman has PMS, and if all else fails to buy flowers, deemed to be "kryptonite to PMS."

Championing itself on the catchcry, "saving relationships one month at a time," the website also features a "national alert level" indicator for the US, showing how many women have PMS each day as well as the "overall threat index" on a scale of 1-4. CEO and founder Jordan Eisenberg developed after friends talked about the world-class diplomacy men needed to bring up the topic of PMS with their partners. "It's hard for guys to know if they did something to piss of their lady and hard to remember when PMS is, and always awkward to confront and ask the question without coming off like a jerk," he told "One of the guys actually kept track in his daily planner, and from there we decided to automate this process and offer it to the masses."

He admits that while functionality is first and foremost, some women may find the idea of their cycles being "tracked" a tad offensive. "Certainly some do," says Eisenberg, "but the majority do feel it is helpful, and the remainder at least get a kick and a laugh out of it. "Those in relationships have been overwhelmingly supportive and many have actually signed themselves up to warn their boyfriends (or) husbands. If anything, we feel we can minimise unnecessary fights by allowing men to offer some slack."

PMSBuddy started nine months ago and is now tracking the menstrual cycles of more than 100,000 women worldwide, including 4000 in Australia and 1000 in New Zealand via the site and a Facebook application. Users enter the date and length of a woman's last cycle. Women can sign up to send reminders to up to five men in their life. Anything from one to five days notice can be specified, allowing for warnings of various degrees of danger in the form of yellow, green and red alerts.

Eisenberg has received hundreds of emails of praise from both men and women, he said. And if the online forums are anything to go by, it has certainly stirred some controversy. Both women and men have written in with stories of PMS experiences, including one male who describes the once monthly bus that shows up to take his wife "to crazy town," and another who suggests all males should "just go and play golf" for a week.


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