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Sleeping around could lower prostate cancer – Experts identify sex link to protection

By Ian Hughes
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Men who sleep around may reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by almost a THIRD.

According to a new study, promiscuous gentlemen with more than 20 notches on their bedpost slashed their chances by 28%.

Celibacy, on the other hand, doubles the risk of a disease that kills almost 11,000 people in Britain every year.

Findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, add to evidence that regular intercourse may flush out cancer causing chemicals as the prostate secretes the bulk of the fluid in semen.

Number of men killed by prostate cancer every year: It is the first study to suggest the number of female partners is what matters, rather than the amount of sex, or even masturbation.

But asked if it meant public health authorities will be recommending men to sleep with many women in their lives, Professor Marie-Elise Parent replied: “We are not there yet.”

Another theory for the protective effect of matters of the flesh is it reduces calcifications in the gland that have been linked with the condition.

The study of more than 3,000 men found those who had slept with more than 20 women during their lifetime slashed their risk of all types of prostate cancer by 28%, and for aggressive forms by 19%.

Sex with more than 20 women may cut prostate cancer risk: Professor Marie-Elise Parent, of the University of Montreal, said: “It is possible that having many female sexual partners results in a higher frequency of ejaculations, whose protective effect against prostate cancer has been previously observed in cohort studies.”

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The age at which the participants lost their virginity, or the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) they had contracted, had no effect.

On the other hand, homosexuals with more than 20 male partners in their lifetime suffered a twofold higher risk of getting prostate cancer compared to those who had never slept with a man.

And their risk of having a less aggressive prostate cancer increased sixfold compared to those who have had only one male partner, which had no affect on overall risk.

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK. There are 41,700 new cases diagnosed and 10,800 deaths each year.

Prostate cancer facts: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs you have it for many years.

Symptoms often only become apparent when the prostate is large enough to affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis).When this happens, men may notice things like an increased need to urinate, straining while urinating and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.

These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored, but they do not mean you definitely have prostate cancer. It is more likely that they are caused by something else, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also known as BPH or prostate enlargement).

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis found only in men. About the size of a satsuma, it’s located between the penis and the bladder and surrounds the urethra.

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The main function of the prostate is to help in the production of semen. It produces a thick white fluid that is mixed with the sperm produced by the testicles, to create semen.

Why does prostate cancer happen?

The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. However, certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.

The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.

For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent, and less common in men of Asian descent.

Men who have first degree male relatives (such as a father or brother) affected by prostate cancer are also at slightly increased risk.

Tests for prostate cancer: There is no single test for prostate cancer. All the tests used to help diagnose the condition have benefits and risks, which your doctor should discuss with you.

The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are blood tests, a physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination or DRE) and a biopsy.

The blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer. Men are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer, as results can be unreliable.

This is because the PSA blood test is not specific to prostate cancer. PSA can be raised due to a large non-cancerous growth of the prostate (BPH), a urinary tract infection or inflammation of the prostate, as well as prostate cancer. Raised PSA levels also cannot tell a doctor whether a man has life-threatening prostate cancer or not. This means a raised PSA can lead to unnecessary tests and treatment.

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However, you can ask to be tested for prostate cancer once the benefits and risks have been explained to you.

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Sleeping around could lower prostate cancer – Experts identify sex link to protection

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