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Can excessive hair loss, the kind associated with male pattern baldness, be prevented–that is, reduced to acceptable levels? That depends on who you ask. And ultimately, who you are?
As most people know, everyone loses hair. It’s normal. Because every hair follicle on your head goes through a growing phase, called the anlagen phase, and a resting period, called the deluge phase.
In male pattern baldness sufferers, the hair follicles enter their resting phase more frequently, and for longer periods of time. When the hair follicles do produce hair again, it is smaller in size and lighter in color, and as the cycle repeats, the hair become so small and so absent of pigment that it is called lanugos–type hair, also known as peach fuzz. As time progresses, the follicle will cease to produce hair entirely and baldness results.
Medical science knows the cause of male pattern baldness is due to hormonal activity that is genetic in origin. Testosterone in the scalp breaks down and one of its by–products, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), interferes with the hair follicle, causing it to atrophy (resulting in smaller hairs of less pigment), and finally, to whither and die, when it will produce no hair at all.
What medical science doesn’t know is exactly why some men with high testosterone levels (marked by heavy beards, an excess of body hair and deepness of voice) do not succumb to male pattern baldness, while others, often with lower testosterone levels, do. Nor is it understood why male pattern baldness affects the hair follicles on top of the head and not those on the back and sides. In other words, medical science understands the “hows” of the process; they just don’t understand the “whys.” And that has hampered attempts to stop excessive hair loss.
Someone who is searching for absolute truth in determining which singular substance can reduce excessive hair loss may well end up being very disappointed, because no one ingredient has proven effective for all individuals, all the time. What is probably more correct is that individuals respond to different treatments in different ways. What may work for one person may be ineffective in another, and so on. What is encouraging is that today there exist alternatives, some of which have proven effective for some people, some of the time.
Facts Pertaining to Hair Loss
If the drainage hole of your bathroom is clogged with your hair whenever you take a shower, well, don’t lose sleep over it. And if you are alarmed over losing up to 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, don’t worry about it at all, it’s perfectly normal! As you get older, you only tend to lose more hair, progressively.
Hormonal changes in your body brought on by the ageing process, along with the heredity factor, means that some people lose more hair than others as they age. In men, this type of hair loss, is called “male–pattern balding”, and results in a receding hairline, and/or thinning of hair at the top of the head.
Similarly, some women experience mild “female pattern balding”. That normally entails a thinning of hair over the top of the scalp. Women with female pattern balding, typically, start losing hair between the ages of 25 and 30. However, hair loss in women is less prominent than in men.
We could lose hair after certain types of fevers, major surgery and/or infection. Women on diet or those who have a heavy menstrual flow, may also suffer severe hair loss due to the lack of protein, iron and zinc in their bodies.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sex is better when you don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unsafe sex can put you or your partner at risk for STDs. Protect yourself and your partner. Then you can relax and feel close. If you decide to have sex, be sure to carry condoms.
No single STD can be regarded as an isolated problem because multiple infections are common and because the presence of one STD denotes high–risk behavior which is often associated with other more serious infections. The elicitation of sexual history and the management of sexual partners are therefore of paramount importance. The failure to identify and to examine or refer the infected partner represents a failure in management, both at the community level (since sources of spread of infection are not identified) and at the individual patient level (since re–infection are not prevented).
Even someone you love can have an STD. Millions of people have STDs – most do not know they have a disease. But they can still give the STD to others.
If you have had unprotected sex you may have an STD and not know it.
If your partner has had unprotected sex, your partner may have an STD and not know it.
If you think you have an STD, there is only one thing to do. Get tested.
STDs can infect a woman deep inside. They can damage a woman’s body so she cannot have children. Many women don’t know they have an STD until it’s too late.
The surest way to prevent any STD is don’t have sex. There are many ways to show love besides sex. Kissing, talking, and touching feel good and are safe. You cannot spread an STD if there is no contact between the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
Latex condoms help protect both people if you use them the right way every time. Use condoms for any kind of sex – vaginal, oral, or anal.
- It’s important to get tested once a year, even if you feel fine. Go to a doctor’s office or clinic right away if you have any of these symptoms: pain when you go to the bathroom.
- a strange fluid or drip from the penis or vagina and/or
- bleeding between periods (women).
If you have an STD
- Tell your partner they need to get tested too.
- Take all of your medicine, even if you start to feel better.
- Never take another person’s medicine or give someone yours.
- Don’t have sex until you and your partner are treated.
The Male Condom
Keep condoms cool and dry. Never use skin lotions, baby oil, Vaseline or cold cream with condoms. The oil in these products will cause the condom to break. You may use products made with water (like K–Y jelly or glycerin). Put on a new condom before any kind of sex. Hold the condom by the tip and squeeze out the air. Unroll the condom all the way over the hard penis. Have sex. Hold the condom so it can’t come off the penis. Pull out.
The Female Condom
The female condom fits inside a woman’s vagina. It has a soft ring on each end. The outer ring stays on the outside of the vagina and partly covers the labia (lips). The inner ring fits inside the vagina to hold the condom in place. Put the condom in any time before sex. Add water–based lubricant to the inside of the condom. Squeeze the inner ring of the condom. Put the inner ring and pouch into the vagina. With your finger, push the inner ring as far into the vagina as it will go. Guide the penis into the condom. After sex, remove the condom before standing up. Pull out gently.
Gene for Testicular Cancer discovered
A consortium of international scientists said they have located the first gene for susceptibility to testicular cancer. British researchers who led the study said the gene dubbed TGCT1 on chromosome X is inherited from the mother and can increase a man’s risk of testicular cancer by up to 50 times. The finding brings scientists a step closer to finding the gene, which could lead to earlier detection, treatment and cure of the most common cancer among young men. “What we have achieved is the localization of the first testicular cancer susceptibility gene.”
“This work will be facilitated enormously by the newly emerging genome sequence, the first draft of which we expect to see late this year”,Stratton added, referring to the Human Genome Project, which will map all the genes in the human body.
Testicular cancer affects about one in 500 men and is most common among men aged 25 to 29. The disease has increased steadily since the 1930s. Cases in Denmark, which along with Switzerland and Norway have the highest rates in the world, have trebled. Familial testicular cancer accounts for an estimated 20% of cases, so scientists know that other genes are also involved.
Doctors also suspect that environmental factors and exposure to higher levels of the female hormone estrogen in the womb are contributing factors to the increase in the disease. The scientists working for the International Testicular Cancer Linkage Consortium located the TGCT1 gene by studying 134 families worldwide with two or more cases of the disease. It is found in a third of families with a history of the disorder. The finding, which is the culmination of 10 years of research, is published in the journal Nature Genetics. In addition to improving detection and treatment of testicular cancer, which has a 90% to 95% cure rate if found early, Stratton said the discovery has wider implications for other cancers with higher death rates.
“Testicular cancer is unusual because of its high cure rate. By finding out more about the molecular biology of the underlying causes and its pathogenesis, we hope to be able to work out why it is so curable”, he said. “The implications of that may be that we can see why other cancers, which are not so curable, are different.” Risk factors for testicular cancer include a family history of the disease and malformed or undescended testicles. There is also a higher incidence among first-born sons and non–identical twins. Exercise may increase testicular cancer risk.
Teenage boys who exercise regularly and those with physically demanding jobs in their 20s may be more likely to develop testicular cancer than their less active counterparts, Canadian researchers report. The most common cancer in men 15 to 35 years old, testicular cancer rates have increased in many countries over the past 20 years. To arrive at their findings, the researchers compared data on 212 men with testicular cancer and 251 similar, cancer-free men. The study subjects filled out questionnaires identifying the frequency of “moderate” or “strenuous” exercise during different life periods. Moderate exercise refers to brisk walking or gardening while strenuous exercise referred to any exercise lasting for at least 20 minutes.
Reporting their findings in the January issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, Dr.Mrs. Nancy Kreiger and Anil Srivastava of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, found that the more frequently men exercised in their teens, the greater their risk of developing testicular cancer. In addition, men who had moderate or strenuous job demands in their 20s had about a 70% to 85% increased risk of testicular cancer, compared to men who did not work at such jobs during their 20s, the authors note.
The researchers originally speculated that physical activity would lower risk of testicular cancer.“The finding of a harmful effect of physical activity is contrary to that of our original hypothesis”, Kreiger and Srivastava wrote. While exactly how physical activity may increase testicular cancer risk is not known, the investigators suggest that perhaps physical activity during the teen years delays puberty in boys. This may cause changes in levels of male hormones and may somehow increase risk of the cancer. “Important insights might also be gained from further investigation of the relation between hormone levels and physical activity, particularly with respect to frequency of exercise”, they conclude.
Most urologists treating men with prostate cancer fail to realize that their patient’s side effects may include hot flashes, diarrhea, constipation and weight change, according to a survey. The survey found that only 25 percent of urologists surveyed were aware that patients experienced at least one of these common side–effects from treatment.
Patients also were three to four times more likely than their doctors to believe they were suffering from less common side effects, such as breast enlargement and loss of muscle strength, the survey said. Cancer of the prostate, a small gland located in the male reproductive system, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.
Men after Prostate Cancer
Higher testosterone levels can temporarily stimulate tumor cell growth, possibly worsening cancers before the treatments take effect. Awareness of the physical and emotional impact of prostate cancer – some men become impotent or suffer incontinence as a result of treatment – has risen recently as several prominent figures have acknowledged their battle against the disease.
The survival rate for men with prostate cancer is generally good if the disease, which is rare in men younger than 50, is caught early. It is most commonly treated using radiation, surgery and hormone therapies. This is a slow–moving cancer. You still have time, to accumulate information and arm yourself with the questions you’re going to ask the doctors. It was important for men to undergo regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, which measure PSA levels. All prostate cells produce PSA, but it is produced in unusually large amounts by cancerous cells.
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