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Breast cancer. Just reading those words can make many women worry. And that’s natural. Nearly everyone knows someone touched by the disease.

But there is a lot of good news about breast cancer these days. Treatments keep getting better, and we know more than ever about ways to prevent the disease. These eight simple steps can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Not everyone applies to every woman, but together they can have a big impact.

1. Keep Weight in Check

It’s easy to tune out because it gets said so often, but maintaining a healthy weight is an important goal for everyone. Being overweight can increase the risk of many different cancers, including breast cancer, especially after menopause.

2. Be Physically Active

Exercise is as close to a silver bullet for good health as there is, and women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check.

3. Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables – and Avoid Too Much Alcohol

A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer.  Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and keep alcohol at moderate levels or lower (a drink a day or under).  While moderate drinking can be good for the heart in older adults, even low levels of intake can increase the risk of breast cancer.  If you don’t drink, don’t feel you need to start. If you drink moderately, there’s likely no reason to stop. But, if you drink more, you should cut down or quit.

4. Don’t Smoke

Smokers and non-smokers alike know how unhealthy smoking is.  On top of lowering quality of life and increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and at least 15 cancers – including breast cancer – it also causes smelly breath, bad teeth, and wrinkles. Now that’s motivation to stay smoke-free or work to get smoke-free.

5. Breastfeed, If Possible

Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It also has great health benefits for the child.

6. Avoid Birth Control Pills, Particularly After Age 35 or If You Smoke

Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill – particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer – not to mention unwanted pregnancy – so there’s also a lot in its favour. If you’re very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.

7. Avoid Post-Menopausal Hormones

Post-menopausal hormones shouldn’t be taken long term to prevent chronic diseases, like osteoporosis and heart disease. Studies show they have a mixed effect on health, increasing the risk of some diseases and lowering the risk of others, and both estrogen only hormones and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones increase the risk of breast cancer. If women do take post-menopausal hormones, it should be for the shortest time possible. The best person to talk to about the risks and benefits of post-menopausal hormones is your doctor.

8. Tamoxifen and Raloxifene for Women at High Risk

Although not commonly thought of as a “healthy behaviour,” taking the prescription drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene can significantly lower the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease.

Approved by the FDA for breast cancer prevention, these powerful drugs can have side effects, so they aren’t right for everyone. If you think you’re at high risk, talk to your doctor to see if tamoxifen or raloxifene may be right for you.

Find Out Your Family History

Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so it’s important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer (especially at an early age) or if you have multiple family members (including males) who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer.
A doctor or genetic counsellor can help you understand your family history of the disease.

Don’t Forget Screening

Despite some controversy, studies show that breast cancer screening with mammography saves lives. It doesn’t help prevent cancer, but it can help find cancer early when it’s most treatable.  For most women, regular mammograms can begin at age 40, but specific recommendations vary by age and risk.

If you are age 40 – 44:

You can choose to begin yearly mammograms.  It is important to talk to a doctor about the risk and benefits of mammograms at these ages.
If you are age 45 – 54:

Mammograms are recommended every year.
If you are age 55 or over:

Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.

Clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended. But you should be familiar with your breasts and tell a health care provider right away if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel.

Other Important Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Unfortunately, there are also a number of important breast cancer risk factors that women have no control over. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and do what you can to lower it. If you feel you’re at high risk, talk to a doctor or other health professional. These can increase a woman’s breast cancer risk:

Older age, especially 60 years or over
Family history of breast cancer
First menstrual period (menarche) before age 12
Menopause at age 55 or over
First childbirth after age 35
No children
Tall height (5’8” or taller)
Dense breasts
History of benign breast disease (like atypical hyperplasia

Source: siteman.wustl.edu

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Sexual Health

What is orgasm?

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When you get really turned on, changes happen in your body. Eventually, if you get really aroused, you can have an orgasm or in other words, you can come, or climax.
Her orgasms

When you get sexually aroused your vagina becomes wetter, which makes it smooth and slippery. With more stimulation, you could climax (orgasm).

His orgasms

When a man gets really turned on, he can have an orgasm – in other words, he can come, or climax.

Source: lovemattersafrica.com

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Sexual Health

Benefits of sexual intercourse during pregnancy

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It’s strange and funny how so many people go on a long sex vacation when they get pregnant or abandon their wives when they get pregnant in terms of sex. The reasons or excuses are many but before I touch on the many misconceptions some have, I will like to encourage pregnant women who will like their husbands to have sex with them to also put in some effort to get them attracted.

Just because you are pregnant does not mean you shouldn’t take good care of yourself. Bath well and regularly because of the numerous hormones in your system due to the pregnancy. Dress well and look good but don’t stay down and look unattractive and expect your husband to come. Don’t keep saliva in your mouth for long otherwise, it can put your partner off.

When it comes to misconceptions that people have about sex during pregnancy, notable among them is that the semen will spill on the baby and might kill it. The penis might be hitting the baby’s head and affect it. The woman wouldn’t feel for sex during that stage. She will get pregnant again.

When a woman conceives, her cervix is closed. When she engages in sex, the semen cannot go through the cervix because there is also a mucus plug to prevent anything from entering. The penis cannot pass through the cervix into the womb. Most women rather feel for sex when they get pregnant. When a woman gets pregnant, the hormones prevent ovulation which is the release of the egg from the ovary. Imagine the disaster or the trouble of your husband or wife or your partner to wait throughout the 9 months plus delivery, to resume having sex with you. How many people will be able to wait till that period?

The only exception is when the doctor or midwife has indicated that sex can cause a problem for the pregnancy due to vaginal bleeding, repeated miscarriage, early labour treatment, or anything else that poses risk.

Now let us take a look at some of the benefits of having sex when pregnant.

1. Sex during pregnancy is a form of exercise for the lady. This also keeps her active and healthy because it burns out the calorie and keeps blood pressure in check.

2. Sexual intercourse can activate the feel-good hormones in the system. If the pregnant woman is happy, it makes the unborn happy because of their connection.

3. During pregnancy, it offers the couple or partners the opportunity to explore certain sex positions they may not have tried before. Sometimes you even later adopt those as your favourite even after delivery.

4. It creates a bond between the partners as the two people do not have to sexually fast for over 9 months. When sex continuous during pregnancy it doesn’t break the flow between them.

5. Sex is even more enjoyable during pregnancy especially for the woman because of the different hormones in her system and also the blood flow in her vulva.

6. During pregnancy, the woman experiences different hormones which can be very uncomfortable but sexual intercourse during pregnancy can help clear most of it as sex can make her sleep soundly.

7. Sex during pregnancy can make delivery easier, this is because the sperm is rich in a hormone known as prostaglandins which help in uterus contractions.

It is equally important to say that not every pregnant woman feels like having sex. Respect the decision of the woman if she doesn’t feel for it or not comfortable with having sex.

Care needs to be taken so as not to contract any sexually Transmitted Infections as this can also affect the unborn if care is not taken.

Sex during pregnancy is not harmful and can happen throughout the nine-month or the pregnancy period unless the doctor has said otherwise.

By Cons. Michael Tagoe

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Sexual Health

Good sexual intercourse lasts minutes, not hours, therapists say

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Erie, Pa. — Satisfactory sexual intercourse for couples lasts from three to 13 minutes, contrary to popular fantasy about the need for hours of sexual activity, according to a survey of U.S. and Canadian sex therapists.

Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades.

Thirty-four, or 68 percent, of the group responded and rated a range of time amounts for sexual intercourse, from penetration of the vagina by the penis until ejaculation, that they considered adequate, desirable, too short and too long.

The average therapists’ responses defined the ranges of intercourse activity times: “adequate,” from three to seven minutes; “desirable,” from seven to 13 minutes; “too short” from one to two minutes; and “too long” from 10 to 30 minutes.

“A man’s or woman’s interpretation of his or her sexual functioning as well as the partner’s relies on personal beliefs developed in part from society’s messages, formal and informal,” the researchers said. “Unfortunately, today’s popular culture has reinforced stereotypes about sexual activity. Many men and women seem to believe the fantasy model of large penises, rock-hard erections and all-night-long intercourse. ”

Past research has found that a large percentage of men and women who responded wanted sex to last 30 minutes or longer.

“This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction,” said lead author Eric Corty, associate professor of psychology. “With this survey, we hope to dispel such fantasies and encourage men and women with realistic data about acceptable sexual intercourse, thus preventing sexual disappointments and dysfunctions.”

Corty and Guardiani, then an undergraduate student and now a University graduate, are publishing their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, but the article is currently available online.

The survey’s research also has implications for treatment of people with existing sexual problems.

“If a patient is concerned about how long intercourse should last, these data can help shift the patient away from a concern about physical disorders and to be initially treated with counseling, instead of medicine,” Corty noted.

Source: news.psu.edu

 

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