Connect with us

Health & Wellness

Should sexuality come into prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer poses as significant a risk to men as breast cancer does to women. But while there’s endless information about breast cancer, prostate cancer seems much more of a medical black hole.

Published

on

While it often falls under the radar, prostate cancer is a severe problem for men. In fact, 1 in 7 men will receive this diagnosis at some point. With statistics like that, prostate cancer poses as significant a risk to men as breast cancer does to women. While there’s endless information about breast cancer, prostate cancer seems much more of a medical black hole.

IMAGE SOURCE

Of course, things are progressing. Studies, such as the VCaP prostate tests, help develop understanding. You can head to sites like herabiolabs.com for details on this study and others, all of which help towards developing treatments. Indeed, the future looks set to get better as our knowledge grows.

But, despite these studies, there are still areas in which we need to develop understanding. As can be seen from articles like this one found at health.usnews.com, gay men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer find a surprising lack of information about the future they face. Most notably, healthcare practitioners fail to even ask sexual orientation. The argument is that who you’re attracted to has little standing on an illness such as cancer. But, that isn’t quite the reality.

IMAGE SOURCE

Of course, there’s no distinct difference in statistics between gay and straight men being diagnosed. Cancer can happen to anyone. But, gay men certainly face challenges unique to their sexual orientation. Worse, there’s no guidelines or information out there to help them through. And, with healthcare practitioners not even taking sexuality into account, the road becomes even rockier.

On top of this, many gay men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer report feeling isolated, even within the gay community. Unlike with a diagnosis of HIV, where everyone pulls together, a prostate diagnosis leaves you out in the cold. The gay community itself merely hasn’t considered the impact of this illness. So, gay men who do suffer are often left with no one to turn to.

But, how does this illness impact gay men? For the most part, this issue comes from the way treatment affects sexual performance. Of course, this can be an issue for anyone. But, for a gay man, the implications are that bit more damaging. For one, many treatments can result in weaker erections, which are more problematic for gay men because of harder penetration. Plus, if surgery is conducted to remove the prostate, there can be problems with ejaculation. Not to mention the obvious issues faced by those who receive during intercourse. As well as experiencing discomfort before treatment, there’s the ongoing issue of removing the primary source of pleasure.

What needs to be done differently? For the most part, we just need to open the floor for conversations like these. It seems that, though sexual orientation doesn’t immediately impact the condition, healthcare providers still need to ask about it. This way, they can talk through personal worries, and help prepare the patient adequately for what they can expect after treatment. In short; doing away with this silence will go a long way.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Protected by WP Anti Spam

Health & Wellness

Only 25% of trans youth feel care providers are helpful about their sexual health issues

Only 25% of transgender youth feel that their primary care providers (PCPs) are helpful about the sexual health issues of gender and sexual minorities (GSMs).

Published

on

Photo by Chris Johnson from Unsplash.com

Only 25% of transgender youth feel that their primary care providers (PCPs) are helpful about the sexual health issues of gender and sexual minorities (GSMs). This is according to a study that explored trans youth’s perceptions regarding encounters with PCPs related to GSM identity and sexual health.

In “Perceived Barriers to HIV Prevention Services for Transgender Youth” – written by Celia B. Fisher, Adam L. Fried, Margaret Desmond, Kathryn Macapagal and Brian Mustanski for LGBT Health – it was posited that many trans youth lack access to trans affirming care, which may put them at risk for HIV.

So researchers surveyed youth ages 14–21 (N = 228; 45% trans masculine, 41% trans feminine, 14% gender nonbinary) on GSM identity disclosure and acceptance, gender-affirming services, sexual health attitudes and behaviors, and interactions with PCPs involving GSM identity and concerns about stigma and confidentiality.

A factor analysis yielded three scales: GSM Stigma, Confidentiality Concerns, and GSM-Sexual Health Information. Items from the GSM Stigma scale showed that nearly half of respondents had not disclosed their GSM identity to their PCP due to concern about an unaccepting PCP. One-quarter of youth were less inclined to discuss GSM identity and sexual health with their PCP due to concern that their provider would disclose this information to parents; these concerns were greater among adolescents <18 and those not out to parents about their gender identity.

Only 25% felt their PCP was helpful about GSM-specific sexual health issues. Youth who were out to parents about their gender identity and had received gender-affirming hormone therapy were more likely to report receiving GSM-specific sexual health information.

READ:  Aldrin Ng: ‘With living with HIV, find strength in acceptance’

Transgender youth may not discuss their GSM identity or sexual health with PCPs because they anticipate GSM stigma and fear being “outed” to parents. As such, “PCPs should receive transgender-inclusive training to adequately address youths’ sexual health needs and privacy concerns.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

1-in-4 girls, 1-in-10 boys report self-injury or attempt suicide due to fighting, bullying or forced sex

Adolescents were more likely to report deliberate self-injury if they noted being sad or thinking about or attempting suicide. Drug and alcohol use were also associated with self-injury, as was fighting, being electronically bullied, or having experienced forced sex.

Published

on

Photo by Brandon Zack from Unsplash.com

One in four (1 in 4) high school girls will deliberately injure themselves by methods as extreme as cutting themselves or burning their own skin, and about one in 10 high school boys deliberately hurt themselves without trying to kill themselves.

This is according to a new study from the University of Portland released in the American Journal of Public Health. Frank Deryck, M.A. initiated this study. Co-writers included Martin Monto, Ph.D. and Nick McRee, Ph.D.

Consistent with other studies, adolescents were more likely to report deliberate self-injury if they noted being sad or thinking about or attempting suicide. Drug and alcohol use were also associated with self-injury, as was fighting, being electronically bullied, or having experienced forced sex.

The study, the first of its kind to use weighted probability sampling, revealed significantly high levels of deliberate, non-suicidal self-injury among large, representative, non-clinical samples of high school students (n=64,671). The study used data from the Centers for Disease Control from 11 states in the US collected in 2015. Individual states had substantially different rates of self-injury, with boys ranging from 6.4% (Delaware) to 14.8% (Nevada) and girls from 17.7% (Delaware) to 30.8% (Idaho).

Among the patterns the study revealed was that the behavior was more commonly reported among 14-year olds and diminished with age. Rates were higher among students identifying as Native American, Hispanic, or Whites than they were among those identifying as Asian or Black.

READ:  Once there were dancing goddesses

The findings are timely, as public concern with adolescent mental health has grown. Additionally, though deliberate self-injury is different than suicide, persons who self-injure are also more likely to consider and attempt suicide.

The authors argue that self-injury among adolescents is so widespread that clinical and therapeutic interventions may be insufficient to address this public health problem. Since many other health risk behaviors are associated with self-injury, efforts to address the problem should be incorporated into broader efforts to address mental health among children and adolescents.

A study done in 2012 actually also similarly noted that female students are more likely to have suicide behavior. In the Philippines, for instance, they are more likely to have suicide ideation than Indonesian students. However, Indonesian students with suicidal ideation were more likely to express their ideation by making a suicide plan (53.5%) compare to the counterparts (40.6%). Psychosocial factors, gender and school grade are important factors in students’ suicide behavior. Therefore, policy strengthening in counseling in the junior high schools is needed to prevent suicide.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

4 Things you can do today for your mental health

We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health.

Published

on

Photo by Sydney Sims from Unsplash.com

Mental health is being talked about more than ever, which is an amazing thing. Having open and honest conversations can help us to all deal with mental health better, and stop the stigma that surrounds it. Just like normal health and varying states of it, we all have some state of mental health, and some need more help than others. We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health.

But what are the best ways to take care of it and keep it balanced? Here are some ideas for you. Hopefully, this can help you and people that you’re around.

We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health. PHOTO BY ROBINHIGGINS FROM PIXABAY.COM

Take Care of Physical Health

Poor physical health and mental health are closely connected. So if there is one thing that you can take away from this, it is that you should be taking care of yourself. Avoid bad habits like cigarettes as they can make you feel worse. Exercise where you can, which can be done in a gym or from home. Get some equipment like the best power rack for your home if needed. Or go running or do yoga. All can help you to deal with stress and poor mental health better. Drink plenty of water, eat well, and sleep well. All of the standard answers, but they do work.

Practice Mindfulness

We all lead busy lives, and as a result, we can all get overwhelmed and stressed out. This can lead to anxiety, as well as other mental health issues. So learning to be mindful, to take one thing at a time, is a really great skill to learn. Do you eat breakfast, while watching the news and scrolling through your phone? That is a lot to take in. Do one thing at a time, like simply eat your breakfast, and then you will be on the way to learning to be more mindful.

Set Goals

Setting goals can be a great thing for your esteem and confidence. It can do wonders for your mental health too. The key is setting yourself realistic goals, though. Think about where you want to be this time next year, and then look for realistic ways of getting there. Do you want to be in a different job or in a happier relationship? It could just be to get fitter than you currently are. Start small and go from there.

Break Up Routine

Routine can give us some confidence and help us know what we are meant to be doing and when. But it can be really quite dull and can bring you down when it is endless and repetitive. So although you can’t change everything, think about taking a different route to work, planning a road trip, or going to somewhere new to eat. Try some new things, and do different things, to make your normal routine a little more varied and interesting.

What else would you add to the list? It would be great to hear what you think.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

False beliefs about sexual risk, poor physician-patient communication impede STD screening in young women

A study found that one in four clinicians surveyed will disregard screening guidelines for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea if a patient is asymptomatic.

Published

on

Photo used for illustration purpose only; by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash.com

Despite record high rates of new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), young women who are sexually active often don’t talk to their clinicians about sex and STD risk, and many aren’t being tested for infection or disease as guidelines recommend, according to new research from Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic information services.

The findings from a new survey -“Young Women and STDs: Are Physicians Doing Enough to Empower their Patients and Protect their Health?” – suggest that lack of direct communication between clinicians and patients – and false beliefs about STD risk held by both groups — may contribute to STD prevalence.

The survey examined the perceptions of young women 15-24 years of age, mothers of young women in this age group, and primary care, OB/GYN, and other specialty physicians regarding sexual activity, sexual health, and knowledge of and screening for STDs (also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs). The results of the 2017 survey were also compared to those of previous research by Quest in 2015 involving similar populations.

Medical guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend annual laboratory testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea for all sexually active women under the age of 25. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of sexually transmitted disease are at an all-time high, with more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in the United States in 2016. Young adults make up about half of STD cases.

“We know that people often think of STDs as something that happens ‘to others’ and, frequently, health care providers have similar beliefs and don’t view their patients as being at risk,” said Lynn Barclay, president and CEO, American Sexual Health Association. “Testing is crucial in young women because STDs are very common, often without symptoms, and undetected infections like chlamydia can lead to problems including infertility.”

READ:  Bite Contemporary Cuisine: Considering a big bite…

Among the key findings:

  • Young women may not understand their STD risk: A little more than half of young women (56%) say they are sexually active and of those who are, 56 percent say they have been tested for an STD. Young sexually active women cite “not feeling at risk” (62%) and “being asymptomatic” (55%) as reasons for not testing, although STDs often lack symptoms. Of women who are sexually active, 86 percent and 88 percent said they aren’t at risk for chlamydia or gonorrhea, respectively.
  • Many young women are uncomfortable talking to their clinician about sex and STDs: Fifty-one percent of young women say they don’t want to bring up for discussion the topics of sex or STDs with their clinicians.
  • Young women may fail to be truthful with their clinician: Twenty seven percent of sexually active young women admit they don’t always tell the truth about their sexual history to their clinician. For the youngest sexually active women (15-17 years of age), forty-three percent aren’t always truthful.
  • Women don’t recall having a clinician ask about STD screening: 49 percent of young women claim their clinician has never asked if they want STD testing, and less than one in four sexually active women has asked their healthcare professional for an STD test.

In addition, the survey responses of young women suggest rates of STD screening by clinicians have declined, particularly among those 15-17 years of age. Based on the comparison of responses of sexually active women 15-17 between 2015 and 2017, STD testing by clinicians for chlamydia and gonorrhea has decreased by 9 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

READ:  STRAP's Paras represents Pinoy LGBTs, stresses local concerns

The survey also found gaps in care by some physicians.

Clinicians may also be uncomfortable discussing STDs, with one in four (24%) primary care physicians agreed with the statement, “I am very uncomfortable discussing STI risk with my female patients.”

One in three primary care physicians rely on symptoms to diagnose an STD: Twenty-seven percent reported that they could accurately diagnose STD patients “based on their symptoms,” even though CDC notes, “STDs do not always cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it.”

Undiagnosed women are much more likely than men to suffer long-term health impacts from STDs, including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Photo by Olla Ky from Unsplash.com

Also, one in four physicians will disregard screening guidelines if a patient is asymptomatic: Only seventy-four percent of primary care doctors said they would order chlamydia testing of an asymptomatic, sexually active female patient. Only seventy-two percent would order testing for gonorrhea for such an asymptomatic patient.

Annual screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea for men who do not have sex with other men is not currently guideline recommended, although, like women, they may not have symptoms and can unknowingly transmit infection to a partner. Undiagnosed women are much more likely than men to suffer long-term health impacts from STDs, including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.

“Our findings suggest that discomfort with frank conversations about sexual activity and false beliefs about risk are key barriers to STD testing, and could be driving some of the increase in STD cases of young women,” said Damian P. Alagia, III, MD, FACOG, FACS, medical director of woman’s health, Quest Diagnostics. “Half of all new STD cases are acquired by young people between the ages of 15-24, and one in four sexually active adolescents has a sexually transmitted disease. Our hope in sharing this survey’s findings with clinicians and the general public is that it prompts open dialogue about reproductive health and STD risk, which is absolutely critical to reversing the trajectory of high STD rates in the US.”

READ:  Highly gender nonconforming teens at greater risk of bullying and violence, study finds

The research was conducted by Aurora Research & Consulting on behalf of Quest Diagnostics in December, 2017. A total of 4,742 study respondents, comprised of 3,414 young women between the ages of 15-24, of whom 1,500 self-identified as sexually active; 1,016 mothers of young women in that age group; and 312 primary care, OB/GYN and specialty physicians were surveyed. Most clinician survey data presented in this report was of responses of 100 primary care physicians. Each respondent completed 15-30 minute online surveys regarding perceptions and knowledge of STDs and chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. Strengths of the research include the large number of respondents and the research’s national scale, while limitations include self-reported data and a lack of direct comparability between study populations. The 2017 research was complemented by results of a survey of similar cohort of patients and healthcare practitioners performed in 2015.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Transgender veterans as healthy as cisgender veterans, study finds

The study found demographic and economic differences between the two populations. Trans veterans experienced higher rates of poverty and less education and were less likely to be married or partnered compared to cisgender veterans.

Published

on

IMAGE BY HOLLY MINDRUP FROM UNSPLASH.COM

The mental and physical health of transgender veterans is similar to cisgender veterans. The only difference was trans veterans had higher odds of having at least one disability, such as a debility in vision, cognition, mobility, self-care or independent living.

The study, Transgender and Cisgender US Veterans Have Few Health Differences, was published in Health Affairs and co-authored by Janelle Downing, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, Kerith J. Conron, Blachford-Cooper distinguished scholar and research director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, Jody L. Herman, scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute, and John R. Blosnich, research health scientist for the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

The study found demographic and economic differences between the two populations. Trans veterans experienced higher rates of poverty and less education and were less likely to be married or partnered compared to cisgender veterans.

In addition to veterans, researchers examined the health and well-being of trans and cisgender civilians and found transgender civilians were less likely to have health insurance and be employed. They had greater likelihood of not receiving primary care in the past year, delaying care because of cost and having multiple chronic conditions and depression compared to cisgender civilians.

“Disparities in education and poverty have been found to increase the risk of poor health,” said lead author Janelle Downing. “Those may be contributing to the poor health outcomes we observed in transgender civilians, but it was not true for trans veterans. It is possible that the veterans represent a particularly resilient subset of trans people.”

READ:  Infidelity perceptions differ between men and women

The study analyzed responses from 517,539 people living in 31 American states and Guam, who participated in the 2014-2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationally representative survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that collects state-level data on health, risk factors and sociodemographic characteristics of adults in the US.

According to the study, there are an estimated 163,000 transgender veterans in the US. Researchers found that overall, trans people (10.4%) served at similar rates compared to cisgender people (10.1%). However, trans people assigned male at birth were less likely to be veterans and those assigned female at birth were nearly five times more likely to be veterans compared to cisgender people.

But while – in March 2018 – the US Department of Defense issued a memorandum that states an intent to ban trans people with gender dysphoria from joining the military, the study found “no evidence to support the (Donald Trump) administration’s intent to ban trans people from serving in the military,” said study author Jody L. Herman. “On the contrary, the positive and long-term health outcomes of transgender veterans illustrate how well the existing criteria work to determine who is fit for military service.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Almost half of gay men encounter intimate partner violence

Abuse among gay couples stems from stress factors that also apply to heterosexual couples, such as money issues, unemployment, and drug abuse. However, gay couples are said to face additional stress from internalized homophobia, which may also contribute to IPV.

Published

on

Not just women’s issue.

Nearly half of men in same-sex couples suffered some form of abuse at the hands of their partner, according to a study that surveyed 320 men (160 male couples) in Atlanta, Boston and Chicago in the US to measure emotional abuse, controlling behaviors, monitoring of partners, and HIV-related abuse.

PHOTO BY ELVIN RUIZ FROM UNSPLASH.COM

The study – “Dyadic Reporting of Intimate Partner Violence Among Male Couples in Three U.S. Cities” by Nicolas A. Suarez, Matthew J. Mimiaga, Robert Garofalo, Emily Brown, Anna Marie Bratcher, Taylor Wimbly, Marco A. Hidalgo, Samuel Hoehnle, Jennie Thai, Erin Kahle, Patrick S. Sullivan and Rob Stephenson – found that 46% experience some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the last year, belying the misconception that this is only a woman’s issue.

“If you just looked at physical and sexual violence in male couples, it’s about 25% to 30%, roughly the same as women,” study author Rob Stephenson was quoted as saying by Webmd.com. “We’re stuck in this mental representation of domestic violence as a female victim and a male perpetrator, and while that is very important, there are other forms of domestic violence in all types of relationships.”

Abuse among gay couples stems from stress factors that also apply to heterosexual couples, such as money issues, unemployment, and drug abuse. However, gay couples are said to face additional stress from internalized homophobia, which may also contribute to IPV.

Another abuse factor related specifically to male couples is the degree of “outedness,” which the study says can create a dynamic of “bidirectional violence as well as creating a power imbalance where the ‘out’ partner may threaten to disclose his partner’s sexual orientation and lead to further violence.

READ:  Infidelity perceptions differ between men and women

HIV-related issues also surface in gay abusive relationships, particularly if there is lack of communication about HIV status and if one of the partners is unable to enforce condom use as a form of protection.

This study actually only backs earlier findings on IPV in LGBTQIA relationships. For instance, in Associations Between Alcohol Use and Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Who Have Sex with Men, published in LGBT Health, Davis Alissa, Kaighobadi Farnaz, Stephenson Rob, Rael Christine and Sandfort Theodorus noted that although alcohol use is a known trigger of IPV.

Alcohol use among MSM tied with intimate partner violence

This newer study was first published online in May, and appeared in the July issue of the American Journal of Men’s Health.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular