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Peyronie’s Disease Could be Linked to Cancer, but More Research Needed

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Peyronie’s Disease Could be Linked to Cancer, but More Research NeededMen with Peyronie’s disease might be at higher risk for cancer, scientists report in Sexual Medicine.

They stress, however, that “although the risk may exist, it remains to be definitively proven.”

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by plaques of scar tissue that form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. Because the plaques make the penis less flexible, deformities occur. Usually, the penis starts to bend. But it may also shorten or take on an hourglass shape. Peyronie’s disease can be painful, and some men find it difficult to have intercourse.

Previously, it was unknown whether there was any link between Peyronie’s disease and cancer. The research team considered that both Peyronie’s and cancer can run in families and decided to investigate.

They used a US-based insurance claims database and found data for 48,423 men who had been diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease between 2007 and 2013. For a comparison group, they also collected data from 484,230 men without Peyronie’s disease or erectile dysfunction (another condition that sometimes occurs with Peyronie’s disease). This control group was matched in age and number of follow-up doctor’s visits.

The men’s average age was 50 years. Men with Peyronie’s disease had an average of 5.6 outpatient visits per year, compared to 3.6 visits annually for the control group.

The men with Peyronie’s disease were at higher risk for cancer in general and for stomach cancer, testicular cancer, and melanoma (a type of skin cancer) in particular.

The researchers weren’t sure why cancer risk was higher for the men with Peyronie’s disease, but they suggested a genetic connection.

They also acknowledged some limitations to their research. For example, they did not know how long men had had Peyronie’s disease or how severe it was. The also did not have further details about the men’s cancer, such as grade or stage.

More study on the relationship between Peyronie’s disease and cancer was recommended.

Resources

Sexual Medicine

Pastuszak, Alexander W., MD, PhD, et al.

“Increased Risk of Cancer in Men With Peyronie’s Disease: A Cohort Study Using a Large United States Insurance Claims Database”

(Full-text. Published online: September 14, 2019)

https://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(19)30176-X/fulltext

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Men's Sex

Birth Control Pills for Men are Possible, Studies Suggest

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Birth Control Pills for Men are Possible, Studies SuggestBirth control pills may eventually be available for men, scientists say.

A final product may still be years in the making, but researchers have deemed the medications safe and tolerable for healthy men.

The results of one study were presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in March 2019.

The drug, 11-beta-MNTDC, may reduce the production of sperm without decreasing a man’s libido. The drug behaves like testosterone, the hormone that drives sexual desire and gives men some of their masculine characteristics. But it does not trigger sperm production in the testes.

Forty healthy men participated in the 28-day study. Each day, 14 men took 200 mg of the 11-beta-MNTDC drug, and 16 men took 400 mg. The remaining 10 men took a placebo pill.

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Men's Sex

Peyronie’s Disease: More Men Receiving CCH Injections

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Peyronie’s Disease: More Men Receiving CCH Injections Nowadays, more men with Peyronie’s disease are being treated with injections of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) than surgery, according to recent research.

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by plaques of hardened scar tissue that form on the penis, just below the skin’s surface. The plaques make the penis lose some of its flexibility. As a result, the penis starts to bend. Sometimes, the curve is so severe that intercourse is difficult. Men with Peyronie’s disease may also experience pain and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Surgery to correct the curve is a common treatment. CCH injections, which are targeted directly at the plaques, were approved in 2014.

The study findings are based on insurance claims data for 36,156 men who were first diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease between 2011 and 2017. Diagnosis rates did not change much during that period.

In 2014, the treatment rate with either CCH or surgery was 9.8%, but the rate rose to 15.5% by 2017, reflecting an increase in men undergoing CCH injections. After CCH injections were approved, their use as a first-line treatment increased an average of 1.6% per year.

The ratio of CCH to surgery as a first-line treatment increased from 1:1 in 2014 to about 2:1 by 2017.

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Low Testosterone Common in Germ Cell Tumor Survivors

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Low Testosterone Common in Germ Cell Tumor SurvivorsIn a recent study of germ cell tumor survivors, roughly half had hypogonadism – low testosterone – regardless of whether they were treated with surgery alone or surgery with platinum-based chemotherapy, scientists report in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.

However, patients who had chemotherapy added to their surgical treatment were more likely to have male aging symptoms.

Germ cells are reproductive cells: egg cells in females and sperm cells in males. Tumors form when these cells grow and accumulate in an abnormal way. Some germ cell tumors are cancerous. When they are, they usually develop into ovarian cancer or testicular cancer.

The study included 199 germ cell tumor survivors between the ages of 18 and 50. Each participant completed a quality of life questionnaire at the start of the study and again three and six months later.

About 48% of the entire group had low testosterone. (For this study, hypogonadism was diagnosed if a man’s testosterone levels were below 300 ng/dL.)

Next, the researchers looked at testosterone levels based on type of treatment. Among patients who had had both surgery and chemotherapy, the low testosterone rate was 51%. For those who had surgery alone, the rate was 45%.

Patients who had low testosterone levels were more likely to have reported fatigue, poor sleep quality, and worse general health at the start of the study.

When the scientists compared quality of life assessment scores for the two groups, they found no statistically significant differences. However, those who had had both surgery and chemotherapy “exhibited more symptoms related to male aging.”

Resources

Mayo Clinic

“Germ cell tumors”

(May 25, 2019)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/germ-cell-tumors/symptoms-causes/syc-20352493

Oncology Learning Network

Porcelli, Hina

“Surgery With or Without Chemo Yields Low Testosterone in GCT Survivors”

https://www.oncnet.com/news/surgery-or-without-chemo-yields-low-testosterone-gct-survivors

Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance

“Chemotherapy”

https://ocrahope.org/patients/about-ovarian-cancer/treatment/chemotherapy/

Supportive Care in Cancer

Khanal, N., et al.

“The effects of hypogonadism on quality of life in survivors of germ cell tumors treated with surgery alone versus surgery plus platinum-based chemotherapy”

(Abstract. Published: November 9, 2019)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-019-05117-0

WebMD

“What Are Germ Cell Tumors?”

(Reviewed: October 12, 2019)

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/germ-cell-tumors#1

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