Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sex Drive Linked To Prostate Cancer Risk

Jan. 26) - Men who are very sexually active in their twenties and thirties -- including frequent masturbators -- are more likely to develop prostate cancer later in life, a British study found.
University of Nottingham researchers compared 431 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60 with 409 men who had not, the publisher of BJU International reported.

Men with higher sex drives in their youth have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer before they're 60? A British study found a higher disease risk for men who had sex or masturbated the most often as compared to their peers while in their 20s and 30s. Hormones have been shown to boost sex drive and prostate cancer risk. Click through for more health connections.

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Of men in the cancer group, 40 percent said they masturbated or had sex 20 times a month or more while in their 20s, the highest frequency category for that age. Just 32 percent of the men in the non-cancer group reported that level of activity. The pattern held similarly for each group throughout their 30s and 40s.
By the time they reached their 50s, the activity levels evened out with 31 percent of men in each group at in the highest frequency category for their age, 10 or more times per month.
Of men who reported having six or more sexual partners, 39 percent were in the cancer group and 31 percent in the non-cancer group. Men with prostate cancer were also more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease.
What's the connection? It could be hormone levels, the researchers said.
"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," said Dr. Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, who is now at the University of Cambridge. "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."
On the flip side, the researchers found that frequent sexual activity in a man's 40s appears to have little effect on future prostate cancer rate, and even small levels of activity in his 50s could lower the risk.
The study was published in the January issue of BJU International, which is published by Wiley-Blackwell.


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