Archive for February, 2016

Smelling Prostate Cancer

February 19, 2016

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in older men with nearly one quarter of a million new cases discovered each year.  It is the second most cause of death in men with over 25,000 deaths each year.  Now there is a new diagnostic device that can detect prostate cancer in men’s urine.

A new device, Odoreader, was developed in the UK which can be helpful in disgnosing prostate cancer by identifying the unique odor in the urine of men with prostate cancer.

The researchers looked at a total of 155 men of which 58 had been diagnosed with prostate cancer by evaluating their urine with the Odoreader. The researchers found that Odoreader was able to successfully identify patterns of volatile compounds from urine samples, and detect those that indicate cancer.

Unfortunately at the present time there is no accurate test for prostate cancer. The standard used to day is the PSA blood test. The PSA test is not specific for prostate cancer and may also detect other prostate conditions such as benign enlargement of the prostate as well as prostate infections. The PSA test indicators can sometimes result in unnecessary biopsies, resulting in psychological toll, risk of infection from the procedure and even sometimes missing cancer cases. This new testing procedure can detect cancer in a non-invasive way by smelling the disease in men’s urine.

The Odoreader could pave the pathway for a new detection technique of prostate cancer, making invasive diagnostic procedures like a prostate biopsy less necessary and potentially saving the lives of many men who fight the disease.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer is a prevalent medical problem affecting thousands of American men.  Now there is a new technique for the diagnosis of this disease which is non-invasive, accurate, and will help men avoid unnecessary diagnostic studies and perhaps unnecessary surgery.

Vaginal Wind Is Not Like Having Wind In Your Sails!

February 19, 2016

It is not uncommon for women to ask me about passing gas from their vaginas.  This situation goes by many names: vaginal farts, vaginal flatus, fanny farts, vaginal wind just to name a few.  The technical term is referred to as queefing.

What causes vaginal wind?

During sexual intimacy air is pushed into the vagina. Air enters the vagina not only during sex but also at the time of a speculum inserted into the vagina during a pelvic exam or with the insertion of a tampon. Air can also be pulled into the vagina during some kinds of exercise including Pilates.

If you push air in, it has to come out. And, as it escapes, it makes that characteristic sound of air coming out any small orifice such as the rectum. The difference is that vaginal wind does not have any odor like flatulence from the rectum which has an odor because of the methane gas in the colon.  Sometimes vaginal wind can happen right after the air’s been pushed in, sometimes it can be a while later when things like laughing, coughing or walking force the air out. 

Solving the problem

If you want to reduce vaginal wind during sex, avoid lots of deep and fast penetration. If you’re using sex toys with a wide girth you may want to avoid these if they’re making noise after they are inserted.

When to seek doctor’s advice

Fanny farts are very normal and not a sign there’s something wrong. However, seek medical advice if you have vaginal or abdominal pain during and after sex, notice your vagina smells bad, or there’s an unusual vaginal discharge. Particularly if you’ve recently had colorectal, bowel or gynaecological surgery, or have had a baby.

You also need a medical opinion if you’re leaking urine outside of urination, or notice fecal material inside your vagina as this might indicate a connection between the urinary tract and the gastrointestinal tract.

Bottom Line:  Vaginal wind is almost never a condition requiring treatment or therapy.  Yes, it may be a source of embarrassment but should be considered in a light hearted fashion and a source of humor not a hygienic problem.

Good News About Red Wine and Prevention of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

February 19, 2016

 

ED affects millions of American men.  Most of the men have ED from vascular causes such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or side effects of medications.

Men who consume red wine and blueberries and take regular exercise can cut their risk of developing erectile dysfunction by over a fifth.  My cardiologist, Dr. Frank Wilkow, informed me that two glasses of red wine a day was good for my heart and my erections.  (He also told my wife that one glass of red wine was good for her heart as well!)

Scientists have identified that foods rich in certain flavonoids cut the risk of men experiencing the sexual problem which affects up to half of all middle-aged and older men.

The foods with the greatest benefits include blueberries, cherries, blackberries, radishes and blackcurrant, which contain anthocyanins; as well as citrus fruits, which are packed with flavanones and flavones.

The study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that men who regularly consumed food high in flavonoids were 10% less likely to suffer from ED.

Bottom Line: Men who consume a diet rich in flavonoids plus participate in regular exercise and maintain their body weight are the best way to preserve sexual health as well as a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors.  And another benefit is that men who consume the healthy diet also have a reduction in risk of diabetes.

Latest News on Testosterone-NBC Nightly News on 2\17\16

February 17, 2016

Testosterone gel can help some men get back a little of their loving feelings, and helps them feel better in general, according to a new study published today by the National Institute of Health.

It’s the first study in years to show any benefit for testosterone therapy. This was the first time that a trial demonstrated that testosterone treatment of men over 65 who have low testosterone would benefit them in any way.  The trial showed that testosterone treatment of these men improved their sexual function, their mood, and reduced depressive symptoms—and perhaps also improved walking.

The FDA does not approve the use of testosterone to treat the effects of aging. But it’s already a $2 billion industry, with millions of men buying gel, pills or getting injections.

Experts stress that the results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, only apply to men over 65 who have medically diagnosed low testosterone. The trial consisted of 800 men.

A few men had heart attacks or were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study, but the rate were the same in men who got real hormone and in those who got placebo cream.

Men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved since the beginning of the trial. Men who received testosterone reported better sexual function, including activity, desire, and erectile function, than those who received placebo. Although the effect sizes were low to moderate, men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved.

Testosterone was also associated with small but significant benefits with respect to mood and depressive symptoms. Men in the testosterone group were also more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their energy was better.

As men age, their bodies make less testosterone. It’s not as sudden as when women lose estrogen, but the effects can be similar – loss of energy, sexual desire, depression and bone loss.

Bottom Line: Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for sex drive, erections, bone strength, muscle mass, and even mood.  The hormone decreases starting in men in their 20’s and usually become symptomatic in the late 40s and 50s.  The diagnosis is easily made with a simple blood test and treatment is easily accomplished with injections, topical gels, or pellets inserted underneath the skin.  For more information speak to your doctor.

Premature Ejaculation-When Comin’ Instead Eof Goin’!

February 2, 2016

 

Nothing is more embarrassing to a man than a problem of rapid ejaculation.  Men are interested in satisfying their partners and when they ejaculate\cum too soon, it is a source of embarrassment and anxiety for every man and a source of frustration and lack of fulfillment for every partner.

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a problem that plagues 36,000,000 men and is defined as ejaculation within 5 minutes of penetration. It is important to point out that premature ejaculation depends on the satisfaction of the partners.  It is a sexual event for a male actually includes erection orgasm, and ejaculation.

The exact etiology of PE isn’t clear, but it is felt to be a lack of control of the receptors to the nerves from the spinal nerve to the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles, the two organs behind the prostate gland that store the sperm prior to ejaculation.

A list of treatments that have been shown NOT to be beneficial incldues:

1. Long-term psychoanalysis.

2. Getting drunk.

3. Use of one or more condoms.

4. Concentrating on something other than sex while having intercourse. (i.e. Baseball line-ups, or state capitals)

5. Biting one’s cheek.

6. Frequent masturbation.

7. Testosterone injections.

8. Tranquillizers.

9. PD5 inhibitors.

Current treatment options available include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), utilizing the side effect of delayed ejaculation via their impact on the receptors in the brain. In numerous studies, these medications taken on a regular basis have been shown to prolong ejaculation. Drugs in this category include Zoloft, Anafranil and Prozac.

Topical creams have been tried in the past and recently, a company, Promescent, (for more information go to Promescent.com) has come out with a spray that is applied to the penile glans to lessen sensitivity. It is available online without a prescription and the feedback from the men who have tried it has been very positive.

My current recommendation is for men to start with Promescent if that is not successful, then consider the SSRI’s.

Bottom Line:  Premature ejaculation is a very common problem affecting millions of American men.  It certainly impacts the relationship between a man and his partner.  Help is available.  Speak to your doctor.