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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dud in bed but a dude at home for the Pill women

Posted: 12 October 2011

PARIS: Women who take the Pill tend to choose as partners men who are less attractive and worse in bed but a sounder bet for a long-term relationship, according to an unusual study published on Tuesday.

Probing the effect of contraceptive hormones on mating choice, researchers questioned 2,519 women in the United States, Czech Republic, Britain and Canada who had had at least one child.

The volunteers were asked to rate their relationship for general satisfaction and sexual pleasure and the attractiveness of their partner or, retrospectively, of their ex.

Oral contraception had been used by 1,005 women when they met their partner, while 1,514 had used no form of hormonal birth control at the first encounter.

"Our results show some positive and negative consequences of using the Pill when a woman meets her partner," said Craig Roberts of Stirling University, Scotland, who led the investigation.

"Such women may, on average, be less satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationship but more so with non-sexual aspects. Overall, women who met their partner on the Pill had longer relationships -- by two years on average -- and were less likely to separate."

Roberts suspects the Pill skews the sub-conscious "chemistry" by which a woman makes a mating choice.

Previously, he found that using oral contraceptives altered women's preferences for men's body odour.

When they didn't take the Pill, women were subjected to the strong hormonal swings of the menstrual cycle.

During ovulation, they unwittingly preferred the smell of men who were genetically dissimilar.

The evolutionary explanation for this is that babies that are born from genetically dissimilar couples tend to be healthier and have a better chance of survival.

But when women took the Pill, they preferred the smell of genetically similar men, Roberts found in this earlier research.

This was because the normal hormonal swings of the menstrual cycle evened out under the effect of the contraception.

The hormone levels typically reflected the non-fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, when women "are more attracted to men who appear more caring and reliable -- good dads," said Roberts.

Although such men are a better choice for long-term partnerships, the risk of a relationship breakdown is still there.

"Women who used oral contraception when they met their partner tended to find him less attractive, engaged in compliant sex and rejected sexual advances more frequently as the relationship progressed, and were more likely to initiate separation if it occurred," the study notes bleakly.

The new research gives an important statistical push to the theory of sexual chemistry but also raises a dilemma.

Should a woman go for Mr. Hunk or Mr. Nice?

To women who are mistrustful of what their body is telling them, going off the Pill and using a condom could help provide the answer, suggests Roberts.

"Choosing a non-hormonal barrier method of contraception for a few months before getting married might be one way for a woman to check or reassure herself that she's still attracted to her partner," he says.

The volunteers for the study were recruited through personal contact, social networking sites and advertising on pregnancy and parenthood forum websites. Of the 2,519 women, 1,761 women were still in a relationship with the biological father of their first child.


Taken from; source article is below:
Dud in bed but a dude at home for the Pill women

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy men "don't need prostate screening"

Posted: 08 October 2011

Prostate cancer
WASHINGTON: Routine screening for prostate cancer does not help save the lives of healthy men and often triggers the need for more tests and treatments, a US government health panel said Friday.

The US Preventive Services Task Force's draft recommendations, which will be open to public comment on Tuesday, are likely to face a push back from advocates of the PSA blood test as well as from drug makers and doctors who benefit from the now-lucrative screening industry.

Based on the results of five clinical trials, the recommendation to avoid a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test -- which measures the level of the protein in the blood -- applies to healthy men of all ages without suspicious symptoms.

But it could have an especially dramatic impact on the care for men aged 50 and older, who are routinely administered the PSA test.

"The low specificity of the PSA test coupled with its inability to distinguish indolent from aggressive tumours means that a substantial number of men are being over diagnosed with prostate cancer," the task force said.

"If any benefit does exist, it is very small after 10 years," it added, citing two major trials in Europe and the United States on the value of PSA testing.

The task force also found no evidence that other forms of screening, such as an ultrasound or digital rectal exam or ultrasound, are effective. It did not examine whether testing was beneficial to men who have already been treated for the disease or who show suspicious symptoms.

One million men who had had the PSA test and would otherwise not have been treated got surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of both between 1986 and 2005, the task force said.

It pointed to evidence suggesting that up to five in 1,000 men will die within a month of prostate cancer surgery and between 10 and 70 in 1,000 men will suffer from serious complications.

"Radiotherapy and surgery result in adverse effects," the task force added, noting that 200 to 300 in 1,000 men treated with such therapies have urinary incontinence or impotence.

An estimated 217,730 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 32,050 died last year of the second most common form of cancer in men after skin cancer.

But the task force noted that most men with the cancer only have "microscopic, well-differentiated lesions that are unlikely to be of clinical importance."

- AFP/wk

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Colon cancer advances faster in men

Posted: 28 September 2011

A photo taken during a traditional colonoscopy.
WASHINGTON: Men with colon cancer tend to have more advanced tumors than women of the same age, said a study out Tuesday that suggested screening guidelines may need to be adjusted for sex and age.

Currently, men and women age 50 and older are urged to get a colonoscopy to screen for growths or polyps that could form into tumors. Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cancer killer worldwide, taking 610,000 lives per year.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined 44,350 participants in a national screening colonoscopy program from 2007 to 2010 in Austria.

The screenings look for adenomas, which are polyps or benign tumors as well as for particularly advanced adenomas and colorectal cancer.

The analysis found "a significantly higher rate of these lesions among men compared with women in all age groups, suggesting that male sex constitutes an independent risk factor for colorectal carcinoma," according to the study.

For instance, five percent of men age 50-54 had advanced adenomas compared to just 2.9 percent of women.

The rate of colorectal cancer in 55-59-year-old men (1.3 percent) was about the same as in women a decade older (65-69-year-old women were diagnosed at a rate of 1.2 percent).

The prevalence of colorectal cancer overall was twice as high among men, at 1.5 percent, compared to 0.7 percent in women.

The researchers noted that "deciding whether to adjust the age at which screening begins also requires considering whether the recommended age for women should be older or the recommended age for men younger."

However, the study stopped short of saying what that new age should be, saying further studies "are needed to demonstrate the relative clinical effectiveness of screening at different ages."


Taken from; source article is below:
Colon cancer advances faster in men

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