Tuesday October 16, 2018

More Sexual Partners Doubles the Risk of Developing Prostate Cancer: Study

According to a recent study, the risk of prosate cancer is doubled by multiple sexual partners

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FILE - A biotechnician demonstrates the loading of a genome sequencing machine at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. Relative to their ability to pay, cancer patients in China and India face much higher prices than wealthier U.S. patients. VOA
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Sydney, Nov 22, 2016: The more sexual partners a man has may double his risk of developing prostate cancer, a study has claimed.

The study found that men who had more than seven sexual partners in their lifetime were twice as likely to have prostate cancer than those with fewer than three partners.

Men who are sexually active earlier may also be a risk, the researchers said.

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“The more partners you had, the more orgasms you had, the younger you were when you first had sex, all pointed to an increased prostate cancer risk,” Visalini Nair-Shalliker, doctoral student at Cancer Council New South Wales in Australia, was quoted as saying to smh.com.au.

It’s believed this increased risk associated with sexual activity could be due to hormonal changes.

Sexual activity and metabolism were associated with antigen, a male sex hormone that is also strongly linked to the initiation of prostate cancer.

Other risk factors included having a father with a history of prostate cancer, a previous diagnosis of prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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In addition, the study found that being overweight or obese was also associated with increased risk of the disease, but to a lesser extent.

There was no association found between prostate cancer risk and circumcision, vasectomy or erectile function, the researchers observed.

It is important to identify risk factors so men could be given advice, and men aged over 50 who fell into those risk categories should speak to their doctors, especially if they had a family history of the disease, Nair-Shalliker said.

However, “we can’t make any recommendations around sexual activity because it’s multi-faceted. We’re not saying ‘increase or decrease your sexual activity’ because the evidence is still grey about that,” Nair-Shalliker noted, in the paper published in the journal in the International Journal of Cancer. (IANS)

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New DNA Tool to Predict People’s Height and Risk For Cancer

They put the algorithm to work, evaluating each participant's DNA and teaching the computer to pull out these distinct differences

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New ML-tool uses DNA to predict height and cancer risk. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new DNA tool that uses machine learning to accurately predict people’s height and assess their risk for serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

The tool, or algorithm, predicts human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education a person might achieve that is purely based on one’s genetic material. However, the applications may not stop there.

“While we have validated this tool for these three outcomes, we can now apply this method to predict other complex traits related to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer,” said lead author Stephen Hsu, from Michigan State University, US.

In the study, published in the journal Genetics, the researchers analysed the complete genetic makeup of nearly 5,00,000 adults using machine learning, where a computer learns from data.

The computer accurately predicted everyone’s height within roughly an inch, findings revealed.

DNA
DNA, Pixabay

“The algorithm looks at the genetic makeup and height of each person. The computer learns from each person and ultimately produces a predictor that can determine how tall they are from their genome alone,” Hsu said.

Importantly, while bone density and educational attainment predictors were not as precise, they were accurate enough to identify individuals who were at risk of having very low bone density with osteoporosis or were at risk of struggling in school.

They put the algorithm to work, evaluating each participant’s DNA and teaching the computer to pull out these distinct differences.

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“Our team believes this is the future of medicine. For the patient, a genomic test can be as simple as a cheek swab, with a cost of about $50,” Hsu said.

“Once we calculate the predictors for genetically-based diseases, early intervention can save billions of dollars in treatment costs, and more importantly, save lives,” he noted, adding “This is only the beginning.” (IANS)