Are penile implants safe?

If youre a man, poor performance in the bedroom can take a serious toll not only on the quality of your sex life, but also on your feelings of confidence and overall manliness.

Just ask Herschel Chalk, a mens health advocate based in Cincinnati who struggled with erectile dysfunction (ED) for years after two battles with prostate cancer.

It was very frustrating, Chalk, 70, told Fox News of his plight with ED. For a woman, its mental, but for a man, its physical, and many times we feel like were not the whole, complete man.

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But after beginning to use a penile implant a surgically input device that offers on-demand erections complete with sensation more than a decade ago, Chalk feels like himself again.

I dont have to worry about [ED], he said. With the implant, if I say were gonna have a good time, were gonna have a good time because you can easily pump it up. It works. It gives you joy.

Rising ED rates

Despite improvements in the manufacturing and surgical application of penile implants over the past decade, too few men consider them as a viable option, Chalks urologist Robert J. Cornell, a board-certified urologist in general and prosthetic urology in downtown Houston, told Fox News.

Cornell said more than 30 million American men suffer from ED, and each year, 75,000 new men are diagnosed with the condition due to prostate cancer.

The ED rates are particularly bleak for prostate cancer survivors like Chalk, who beat his second round of the disease in 1998.

Of the 100,000 men who underwent a prostarectomy last year, 50 percent suffered from ED prior, and among those who didnt before surgery, 60 percent will develop the condition post-operatively. Prostarectomies, wherein the prostate gland is fully or partially removed, can lead to ED.

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For one-third of those men, ED medication fails, Cornell said. For many patients, like Chalk, other ED solutions available also prove unsuccessful or uncomfortable.

I tried everything they had on the market, Chalk said. I tried the pills, I tried a vacuum erection device, I tried the shots, and none of it worked for me.

Low penile implant use

And yet, a 2015 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that despite the rise in ED rates, popularity of penile implants appears to be waning.

Study authors, from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, found that while the number of men with ED jumped by 165 percent during the 10-year study, penile implant use fell. About 4.6 percent of men with ED got a penile implant in 2002, and only 2.3 percent of men underwent the procedure in 2010. Researchers drew their results from the public Medicare files of about 1.8 million men.

Each year, fewer than 20,000 penile implant procedures are done worldwide, Cornell said.

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Penile implants are not noticeable physically or sensationally to men or their partners. The devices consist of a pump, two cylinders and a reservoir that are implanted in the body. Typically, the surgery, which is done under general anesthesia, takes 30 minutes, Cornell said. The procedure can lead to scrotal swelling, and he advises men to wear a jock strap for a week and avoid exercise for about a week, but typically patients return to work within one week.

Using the penile implant

Using the penile implant is simple, Cornell said. When activated by pressing on the pump, the reservoir fills with fluid (instead of the blood the penis typically uses to form an erection) and transfers it to the cylinders in the penis, thereby inflating them.

When a man wants an erection, he simply reaches into his scrotal sack, the underside of the penis, and squeezes the pump. He will remain erect even after ejaculating until he presses on a deflation valve at the base of the pump to return the fluid to the reservoir.

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Despite having an average infection rate of less than 2 percent, some men may be deterred from the procedure because it can result in a penis that is one-quarter of an inch shorter, Cornell said. Rarely, penile implants can injure adjacent structures.

Why men arent getting them

Dr. Tobias Kohler, a urology professor at the SIU School of Medicine, told Fox News he thinks the reason why more men dont get them is simply a lack of awareness.

Its paid for by Medicare, and so all men are eligible for it, Kohler said. If youre healthy enough to climb a flight of stairs, youre healthy enough to get an implant and use it.

Kohler said that, among those men who do get penile implants, 95 percent report that they would recommend it to a fellow male friend, and about 93 percent of women would recommend it to a friends partner.

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About 70 percent of penile implants last 15 years or longer, Kohler added.

Chalk, who is on his second penile implant in about 14 years, said surgery for ED isnt for everyone, but he wants men to know they have options.

[The implant] gave me back all my confidence because I knew it was gonna work every time I wanted it to work, Chalk said. It was just the fact of knowing that I was able to perform was the main thing.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/02/23/are-penile-implants-safe.html

The Mednet launches its Quora for cancer, an online medical knowledge base

A New York City startup called The Mednettoday launched a platform thatgives physicians a knowledge-sharing tool thats as easy to use as Quora, but provides them with expert answers about the latest research in their field. The site has focused, so far, strictly on cancer.

Due to rules governing medical information and patients privacy, questions posted to The Mednet cannot be case-based. They are situation-based only, meaning doctors dont share patient info, not even blurred photos.

While the startups site, theMednet.org, has been in development for about 2.5 years, the company officially launched today and is part of the latest batch of the Y Combinator accelerator. Co-founders Nadine Housri, a radiation oncologist, and her brother CEO Samir Housri told TechCrunch their company has raised some grant funding and equity funding to date, including from YC and The Hope Foundation.

Results on the platform have been hope-inspiring so far to Nadine Housri, shesaid. Cancer experts regularly help each other there to figure out complex issues that will immediately impact their patients. For example, a new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine came out, and an investigator in that study, Howard Sandler, answered questions about it on The Mednet, helping other doctors decide whether or not to use hormones, along with radiation, to treat a prostate cancer patient.

His study had found thatadding hormonal therapy to radiation treatment improvedthe average long-term survival of men with prostate cancer who have had their prostate gland removed. But of course, the science was complicated and the regimen wasnt recommended for any or every patient.

Nadine Housrisaid when theMednet.org first launched, she wasnt sure if oncologists, professors, department chairs and other cancer researchers would be too busy to give away their expertise on some new online platform. But, she explained, Experts are willing to give away info to random people here because they constantly field phone calls, emails and answer questions at medical conferences anyway. One reason you go into academia or medicine is to have a great impact on people, on your community. On Mednet experts can put their answers out there, clear up misconceptions on research and clinical practices.

Like many startups, The Mednet has spent its early yearsfocused on building an expert user community, and becoming a vital resource tousers,as well. The Housris said their network will always be accessible for free to doctors, and they want it to serve as a knowledge base for medicine broadly. The company plans to expand beyond oncology over the long run.

It is exploring the potential togenerate revenue by helping companies raise awareness of and enroll patients in their clinical trials. It could also aggregate some of its expert answers into automated decision support for clinics, the founder said. Depending on its monetization strategy, The Mednet could compete with online resources for physicians like Figure 1 or UpToDate over the long run. But when it comes to medicine, there probably cant be too many tools to help peopleget good, up-to-date information.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/21/the-mednet-launches-its-quora-for-cancer-an-online-medical-knowledge-base/

Prostate cancer treatment ‘could help more patients’ – BBC News

Image copyright SPL
Image caption Hormone therapy stops more testosterone from reaching the prostate gland

One of the largest clinical trials for prostate cancer has given “powerful results”, say UK researchers.

A drug for treating prostate cancer that has spread was found to save lives when offered earlier, a study found.

The trial looked at abiraterone as an additional treatment in patients with prostate cancer who were about to start long-term hormone therapy.

Abiraterone improved survival, according to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Prof Nicholas James, from the University of Birmingham, who led the research, said: “These are the most powerful results I’ve seen from a prostate cancer trial – it’s a once-in-a-career feeling.

“This is one of the biggest reductions in death I’ve seen in any clinical trial for adult cancers.”

‘More men could benefit’

Abiraterone, also known as Zytiga, is a hormone therapy. Unlike chemotherapy which kills the cancerous cells, it stops more testosterone from reaching the prostate gland to stifle the tumour’s growth.

The trial involved almost 2,000 patients.

Half the men were treated with hormone therapy while the other half received hormone therapy and abiraterone.

Of the 1,917 men in the trial, there were 184 deaths in the combination group compared with 262 in those given hormone therapy alone.

Prof James added: “Abiraterone is already used to treat some men whose disease has spread but our results show many more could benefit.”

Each year around 46,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK, and around 11,000 men die from the disease.

The results of the trial were presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Saturday.

‘Clear benefits’

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “These results could transform the treatment of prostate cancer. Abiraterone can clearly help many more prostate cancer patients than was first thought.”

The Institute of Cancer Research also “strongly welcomed” the new findings.

Prof Johann de Bono said they showed that when used at the start of treatment, abiraterone had “clear benefits for patients”.

In March, patients with prostate cancer in England were told they could have early access to abiraterone.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) previously said the treatment was not cost-effective for the NHS until cancers were more advanced.

Prof Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, said he was keen to now see abiraterone reassessed by NICE for use in patients “as early as possible”.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40131381

Get Buzzed!: 20 Little-Known Facts About Vibrators

1. GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Research has shown that women who use vibrators are more likely to visit the gynecologist for checkups, to achieve orgasm with or without a vibrator, and to have lower stress levels and fewer headaches than women who don’t use them. What’s not to like? (source)

2. UM, WHERE DO YOU PUT IT?

One study revealed that a whoppin’ 83.8% of female vibrator users preferred to employ the device for clitoral stimulation rather than vaginal insertion. But hey, you can put it anywhere you like! (source)

3. A $1 BILLION MARKET

One billion dollars’ worth of vibrators are sold every year, accounting for a bigger market even than condoms. (source)

4. A VIBRATOR FOR EVERY NEED

No two vaginas (or anuses) are alike, which is why sex-toy technicians have bequeathed us with a wide, wonderful, throbbing world of vibrators from which to choose. Some types, such as the monstrously sized and monstrously popular Hitachi Magic Wand, are sold as “back massagers” and are intended strictly for clitoral stimulation. Others are shaped like penises and are made for vaginal insertion. Some are waterproof, enabling you to rub one out in the shower or hot tub. The “rabbit” (more on that later) is two-pronged, with the larger prong for vaginal insertion and the smaller one for clitoral stimulation. Some are shaped to stimulate the G-spot or prostate gland. There are even “smart” vibrators than can be programmed over the Internet to include different vibration patterns and music to your self-pleasuring sessions. (source)

5. CLEOPATRA’S ANGRY BEES

As legend has it, Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt whose seductive powers culminated in the Roman Civil War, invented the hand-held vibrator by filling a hollowed gourd with angry bees and then pressing it against her nether regions. Hail to the Queen Bee! (source)

6. CURING “HYSTERIA”

Back in the Sexual Dark Ages before men realized that women have orgasms, females’ pent-up sexual frustration was diagnosed as a medical condition called “hysteria.” The cure? Originally, it was a visit to the doctor’s office, where a woman would receive a “pelvic massage”i.e., a handjobuntil she had a “hysterical paroxysm,” which is now called an orgasm. For eons, physicians used their own hands. But amid the industrial hubbub of the 1800s, inventors coughed up a dizzying area of giant steampunk contraptions designed to cure “hysteria”some of them required two people to operate them, and a few were even steam-powered. (source)

7. THE FRENCH WIND-UP TOY (1734)

The first “modern” vibrator was a little hand-powered box invented in France and called . You cranked it up like a music box, but instead of playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” it gave you an orgasm. (source)

8. THE FIRST ELECTRIC VIBRATOR (1883)

In 1883, British doctor J. Mortimer Granville patented a forty-pound electromechanical monster that was the first modern “hysteria” cure powered by electricity. He quickly became the most popular doctor in Englandamong women, at least. (source)

9. THE FIRST HAND-HELD PERSONAL VIBRATOR (1902)

These “hysteria” cures became so popular that in 1902, Hamilton Beach patented the first handheld, electro-powered personal vibrator for home use. Vibrators were only the fifth electrical device in history to receive a patentafter the toaster, sewing machine, fan, and tea kettle. American women were using vibrators at home before they were using vacuum cleaners. (source)

10. THE DARK AGES OF MODERN VIBRATORS

By the 1920s, it began slowly dawning on American men that their wives were using electrical vibrators at home for sexual gratification. how slow they were back then! This led to an outright ban on vibrators that lasted all the way until the late 1960s. The prohibition on alcohol, which started around the same time as the prohibition on vibrators, only lasted 11 years. But vibrators were banned for at least 40 years. Get your priorities straight, Americans! (source)

11. THE CORDLESS REVOLUTION

Amid the social tumult of the 1960s came the Sexual Revolution. One of the primary tools of this revolution, along with birth-control pills, was the cordless personal vibrator. In 1968, a patent was issued for a “Cordless Electric Vibrator for Use on the Human Body,” and the buzzing has never stopped. (source)

12. LOUD VIBRATIONS FROM DOWN UNDER

You may think of New Zealand as Australia’s homely little sister, but the Pacific island nation has the world’s highest rate of vibrator ownership38% of Kiwis own a vibrator. (source)

13. DON’T BELIEVE THE STEREOTYPE

Contrary to stereotypes that women use vibrators because they can’t snag a living penis, one study showed that four out of every five female vibrator users was in a relationship. (source)

14. MOST MEN ARE NOT THREATENED BY THEM

Despite the popular notion that men experience severe castration anxiety and fear of mechanical cuckoldry whenever they see a vibrator, one study showed that seven out of ten men were absolutely A-OK with their lady friends using vibrators. (source)

15. VIBRATOR-INDUCED HOSPITAL VISITS

In 2014, a Kansas woman was rushed to the hospital because a tiny, pinkie-sized vibrator got caught in her urethra and managed to vibrate itself all the way up to her bladder. In 2013, a man live-tweeted his hospital visit for getting a vibrating dildo stuck up his rectum. (source1) (source2)

16. ALABAMA: NO VIBRATORS FOR YOU!

Alabama’s Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act bans the sale of any device designed or marketed as useful for the stimulation of human genital organs. If you want to get a vibrator in Alabama, you’ll need a doctor’s note. (source)

17. MORE RELIGION = FEWER VIBRATORS

Religious belief is negatively correlated with vibrator ownership, but you probably already suspected that. (source)

18. SILLY RABBIT!

The two-pronged “rabbit” vibrator, made famous in an episode of , contains a phallic prong and a smaller prong that directly stimulates the clitoris. It was initially designed in Japan to look like a rabbit because of a Japanese law forbidding the sale of items that look like penises. According to some, it is now the world’s biggest-selling sex toy. (source)

19. THE $55,000 VIBRATOR

The world’s priciest sex toy is fashioned from white gold and is covered in 117 diamonds. The cost? A highly reasonable $55,000. (source)

20. MEET “BOB”

That’s an acronym for “Battery-Operated Boyfriend.” If you can come up with a cuter name for your vibrator, go for it! (source)

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/lorenzo-jensen-iii/2015/10/good-vibrations-20-little-known-facts-about-vibrators/

Men Dont Realize The Sexual Dysfunction Risks Of Prostate Surgery

Reuters Health – Men with sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer surgery are often surprised to learn that the surgery had put them at risk for those problems, a new study finds.

The men in the study had come to a sexual health clinic because of problems they were having after removal of a cancerous prostate gland. Researchers who quizzed them about the sexual function information they had received preoperatively found that the men had “largely unrealistic expectations” about their sexual health after the surgery, like whether they’d be able to achieve erections.

“I think this data is some of the first to report what we see in the clinic,” said Dr. Joshua Meeks, a urologist affiliated with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Men with prostate cancer have several treatment options, which include active surveillance, radiation and removing the gland altogether. All have potential side effects, according to senior study author Dr. John P. Mullhall and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

As reported in BJU International, Mulhall and colleagues surveyed 336 men with sexual dysfunction roughly three months after a prostate removal operation known as a radical prostatectomy. About two-thirds of the group had traditional open surgery; the rest had robotic-assisted surgery.

The average age was 64. Most of the men – about 88 percent of open surgery and 91 percent of robotic surgery patients – said they’d been able to have sex before surgery.

But only 38 percent knew whether they’d had nerve sparing surgery, which helps preserves sexual function. And only half of the patients realized the surgery would take away their ability to ejaculate.

Less than 10 percent knew their penis length might decrease after surgery.

Few men in either group were aware of the potential for changes in orgasms and pain or incontinence during orgasms.

The study didn’t analyze the information patients received from their doctors before the surgery, so the researchers can’t distinguish between what patients were told and what they remembered.

Still, the results show that some men may not retain information from their doctor about the risks of prostate removal, said Meeks, who was not involved with the new study.

“I think it really highlights why it’s important to have their spouse there, because I think having another set of ears is incredibly helpful,” he told Reuters Health.

Dr. Daniel Shoskes, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic who also wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters Health the conclusions fit with what his team has known for some time.

In fact, the Cleveland Clinic has started a half-day class for men undergoing prostate removal to educate them about the surgery and rehabilitation. The hope, said Shoskes, is that the classes will “have an impact on patient retention and satisfaction with the surgery.”

Shoskes, who also was not involved with the new research, added, “It is human and normal to forget what has been told to you. In some cases, it’s the surgeon that needs to do a better job” delivering the information.

The study’s lead author did not respond to a request for comment. In their paper, however, the study team also emphasizes the need to better prepare men for these operations. The study findings, they write, “should give us reason to think about our approach to the education of the patient prior to radical prostatectomy.”

Patients “are not remembering or appreciating the information the way that it is intended” and undertake the operation with mistaken expectations regarding their sexual health, they add.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1Ob43QJ BJU International, online December 21, 2015.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/01/07/side-effects-of-prostate-surgery_n_8930858.html

Fingering The Male G-Spot: 16 Things You Need To Know About Prostate Massage

2. WHY DO THEY CALL IT THE MALE G-SPOT?

As with the female G-spotwhich was named after the pioneering sexologist Ernst Grfenbergthe male prostate gland can help produce orgasms so intense, farmers who livetwo counties over from yours will hear you screaming in pleasure.

3. WHERE IS IT?

Unlike the female G-spot, which is located inside the vagina on the upper wall near the neath the navel, nature placed a cruel joke on all men by locating the male G-spot about two or three inches inside the male rectum.

4. HOW BIG IS IT?

Online sources claim that the prostate gland is either walnut-sized or chestnut-sizedbut never both. And they never specify why they always compare it to nuts rather than, say, gumdrops or jawbreakers or robins eggs. I will assume that the average male prostate gland is somewhere between the size of a chestnut and walnut.

5. WHAT DOES IT DO?

Ordinarily, the prostate serves as a valve that allows a male to either urinate or ejaculate, but never simultaneously.

6. WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THE MALE ORGASM?

But see, not only does the prostate act as sort of a railroad crossing guard between urination and ejaculation, it also aids in the production of seminal fluid. In essence, all male orgasms start with the prostate. And since it teems with nerve endingseven more nerve endings than the penisit is crucial to male sexual pleasure. Whether directly or indirectly stimulated, your prostate gland will enhance the intensity of your orgasm by 497%, which is a figure I just pulled out of my ass.

7. WILL PROSTATE STIMULATION MAKE ME GAY?

No, but its that you asked.

8. WHAT IF I DONT WANT ANYTHING UP MY BUTT ANYWAY?

The male prostate gland can be indirectly stimulated by applying pressure to the perineumthat no-mans land between a mans scrotum and his asshole otherwise known as the taint. Since nerve endings on the perineum are connected to nerve endings on the prostate, applying pressure to your mans taint will send him at least three or four steps higher up the Stairway to Heaven.

9. OK, WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND AND ACTUALLY WANT SOMETHING UP MY BUTT?

Then you need to strictly adhere to the following instructions

10. CLEAN YOURSELF

If youlike most sane, healthy peopledont want to mix feces into your lovemaking, its best that you self-administer an enema before your prostate-massage session. Then make sure your partners hands, as well as any sex toys they use, are rendered antiseptic with rigorous cleaning. This way you can avoid and several other disgusting and puke-worthy infections. Also

11. POSITION YOURSELF

Whether you get on all fours, hang over the side of the bed with your belly facing down, or on your back with your knees in the air, allow your partner easy access to your booty-hole. Its the considerate thing to do.

12. LUBE, LUBE, AND LUBE

Unlike the human vagina, the human anus does not self-lubricate, which in general we should all probably be thankful for. So you need to find a lubricant designed for anal sex and apply it so liberally, no one will have any doubt that youre a Democrat.

13. FINDING IT

Have your partner gently insert their finger inside your rectum and wriggle upward about two or three inches, curling their finger back toward their face in a come hither gesture. Allow them to poke gently around the area until you suddenly squeal like a pig with delight.

14. MASSAGING IT

Have your lover pat on your prostate with their finger pad back and forth, not up and down. Or have them gently poke at it. But dont let them be brought, because it could be painful. Have them spend hours, if not days or weeks or years, experimenting just to get it absolutely 100% correct.

15. WHAT IF I CANT FIND A PARTNER WILLING TO MASSAGE MY PROSTATE?

There are several male sex toys of various cost and capabilities.

16. CAN PROSTATE MASSAGE GIVE ME PROSTATE CANCER?

No, you silly fool, but milking the prostate can release toxins that actually allow the prostate to cancer. Now quit reading and start massaging!

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/lorenzo-jensen-iii/2016/01/fingering-the-male-g-spot-x-things-you-need-to-know-about-prostate-massage/

Here’s Exactly Why Kanye (And Everyone Else) Should Try Ass Play

Kanye West wants you to know that he didn’t let his exes “play with his ass.” In fact, he claims “I stay away from that area all together.”

That breaks my heart — and not just because I’m a queer man and many queer men have loved putting penises, tongues, fingers and other assorted objects into our asses for thousands of years. It breaks my heart because everyone should try ass play at least once. 

Why? Well… first and foremost, because it feels good. Half of all of the nerve endings in the entire pelvic region are located in the anus and that makes it a major pleasure powerhouse. If you happen to have a prostate, there could be even more good times headed your way. Even if you don’t, anal play can still be an incredibly thrilling and satisfying part of sex or masturbation (just ask any of my cis female friends who love anal sex — and not because their partners guilt them into it).

But beyond all of the mind-melting orgasms you could be having or giving whenever you want them or want to give them, the sooner we all start putting things in or near our butts (and admit that we put things in or near our butts), the sooner we’ll help rid this planet of one of the most odious stereotypes out there: if you’re a straight man and you like having your ass played with, it must mean you’re gay.

We should all be calling bullshit on this ridiculous line of thinking for two reasons: firstly, it’s just not true. No one is gay or becomes gay because they try or like a sex act. Our sexuality is defined by who we are (or in some cases aren’t) attracted to, not what we do or how we do it. Secondly, even if it were true, what’s the problem? The fact that anal play is connected with homosexuality and therefore means that any straight man who would engage in it is somehow less masculine or less of a man for doing so illustrates exactly how our culture still feels about gay men — and by extension, about women

It’s also exactly what Amber Rose was implying in her tweet that set off this anal hysteria:

For someone who wants to be seen as a trailblazer in the fight against sex negativity and slut shaming, she’s seems to have absolutely zero comprehension of how a tweet like hers achieves exactly the opposite of what she supposedly stands for. And that’s sad.

Even sadder is the response her tweet inspired across the Internet and Kanye’s panicked reaction. I have no idea if Kanye has ever tried anal play but just imagine how radical, groundbreaking and potentially influential it would have been if his reply to all of this nonsense had been, “You’re right. I love getting my ass played with and there’s really nothing to be ashamed about here.”

But it wasn’t. Instead, it makes me think he likes ass play anyway and is just too embarrassed to admit it. But even if Kanye can’t win in this situation, we still can. I humbly suggest each of us spend a little time with our asses — or someone else’s ass — this weekend. Get to know it a little better. Show it some love. Tell it you don’t hate it. Tell yourself it doesn’t make you any less of a man or any dirtier of a woman or any more fucked up as a person if you do it. And then enjoy some of the best orgasms of your life and tweet at Kanye and Amber Rose about it. 

For more about anal play, check out the HuffPost Love+Sex Podcast on all things anal here.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/01/29/kanye-west-try-ass-play_n_9112384.html

U-turn over prostate cancer drug – BBC News

Image copyright SPL

Patients with prostate cancer in England will now have early access to a drug that can delay the need for chemotherapy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence now agrees that abiraterone is affordable.

It had previously said the treatment was not cost-effective for the NHS until cancers were more advanced.

The drug costs 3,000 a month, but a lower price has been agreed with the manufacturer Janssen.

Abiraterone, also known as Zytiga, is a hormone therapy, and unlike chemotherapy which kills the cancerous cells, it stops more testosterone from reaching the prostate gland and thereby stifles the tumour.

Long-awaited

It is already used at the end-of-life after chemotherapy as it can give patients an extra few months.

But NICE had previously said it could not justify giving the drug to patients with earlier stage disease, even though such patients in Scotland did have access to it.

Instead, patients in England had to rely on their doctors applying to the Cancer Drugs Fund, a special pot set aside for cancer drugs not routinely available on the NHS.

Now NICE says new evidence submitted by Janssen means it can offer the drug to more patients – those with spreading prostate cancer who have only mild symptoms and who have not responded to androgen deprivation therapy and have not yet been offered chemotherapy.

Prof Carole Longson, from NICE, said: “There are few treatments available for patients at this stage of prostate cancer so this is very good news.”

Heather Blake, from Prostate Cancer UK, said: “This long awaited decision is fantastic news and brings an end to years of uncertainty for men and their loved ones. After 18 months our calls have finally been heard as NICE and the manufacturer have managed to negotiate a way forward. However it cannot continue to take so ludicrously long to get men what they need.

“If the newly reformed drug appraisal process really is to work better for men, manufacturers must present best value for money first time around while greater flexibility from NICE must come as standard. We need to see much more focus on what patients need and deserve, otherwise men will men will lose out as they continue to be caught in the middle.”

The NHS in Wales is expected to provide funding and resources for abiraterone within three months of the English guidance being published.

The new price for the drug on the NHS in England is 2,300 for 120 tablets, which is 30 days’ supply.

Under the agreed discount, the NHS pays for the first 10 months of treatment with abiraterone. For people who remain on treatment for more than 10 months, Janssen will rebate the drug cost of abiraterone from the 11th month until the end of treatment.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35861202

John Kerry Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at the life of former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Personal:
Birth date:
December 11, 1943
Birth place: Denver, Colorado
Birth name: John Forbes Kerry
Father: Richard Kerry, a Foreign Service officer
    Mother: Rosemary (Forbes) Kerry
    Marriages: Teresa Heinz (1995-present); Julia Thorne (1970-1988, divorced)
    Children: with Julia Thorne: Vanessa (1976), Alexandra (1973)
    Education: Yale University, B.A., 1966; Boston College, J.D., 1976
    Military Service: US Navy, 1966-1970, Lieutenant
    Religion: Roman Catholic
    Other Facts:
    Grew up overseas, having lived in Berlin before going to a Swiss boarding school at age 11.
    After his return from Vietnam, he became a leader of the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
    Appeared in a cameo role on NBC’s “Cheers.” His last name is spelled incorrectly on the 1992 episode’s end credits, as “John Kerrey.”
    Timeline:
    1966-1969 –
    Serves in the Navy in Vietnam as a gunboat officer on the Mekong Delta, and is awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
    1971 – Speaks to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and makes headlines at a Washington, DC protest by disposing of his medals on the Capitol lawn. Later admits the medals belonged to someone else.
    1972 – Runs unsuccessfully for Congress, Massachusetts’ 5th District.
    1976 – Is admitted to the Massachusetts State Bar.
    1976-1979 – District attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
    1979-1982 – Partner in the law firm Kerry & Sragow in Boston.
    1982-1984 – Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis.
    1984 – Is elected as a Democrat to the US Senate for Massachusetts.
    1990 – Wins a second term in the US Senate.
    1996 – Re-elected to the Senate.
    November 5, 2002 – Is re-elected to a fourth Senate term. He runs unopposed, and is the first Massachusetts senator in 80 years with no major party opposition.
    February 12, 2003 – Has surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his prostate gland at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His doctors announce the cancer had not spread, and he did not have to have radiation treatments. He is released February 15.
    September 2, 2003 – Formally announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president. In his announcement speech, he says President George W. Bush is taking America “in the wrong direction.”
    March 11, 2004 – CNN reports Kerry has received the exact number of Democratic delegates to assure his nomination as the candidate for president.
    July 6, 2004 – Kerry names Senator John Edwards (D-NC) as his vice presidential running mate.
    November 2, 2004 – George W. Bush is re-elected with 62,040,606 votes to Kerry’s 59,028,109. Kerry receives 252 Electoral College votes, and Bush gets 292.
    November 3, 2004 – Calls President Bush to concede the White House race, one day after the election.
    November 1, 2006 – Apologizes after saying college students need to study hard or else they will “get stuck in Iraq.”
    January 24, 2007 – Announces he will not be running for president in the 2008 election and will run for a fifth Senate term instead.
    January 10, 2008 – Endorses Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, not former running mate John Edwards.
    November 4, 2008 – Wins a fifth term in the US Senate.
    2009-2013 – Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    June 4, 2009 – IRS files a $820,000 lien against Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign over payroll taxes.
    August 2009 – Has hip surgery to address chronic pain.
    August 2011 – Kerry is selected as one of 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, created to work out $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction after an initial round of more than $900 billion in spending cuts.
    January 29, 2013 – Kerry is confirmed as the next secretary of state by the full US Senate on a 94-3 vote.
    February 1, 2013 – Is sworn in as the 68th secretary of state.
    May 31, 2015 – Breaks his femur while riding his bike in Scionzier, France. Kerry is flown to a nearby hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, for examination.
    June 2, 2015 – After returning to the United States early for treatment of his leg injury, Kerry participates via phone in talks with European and Middle Eastern allies about ISIS. During the summit, Kerry declares the terrorist network is “no more a state than I am a helicopter.”
    June 12, 2015 – Kerry is discharged from the hospital after undergoing surgery. Leaning on crutches, he greets the media and ensures reporters that nuclear talks with Iran will proceed as scheduled.
    July 14, 2015 – The nuclear deal with Iran is finalized after numerous deadline extensions. Discussing the deal in Vienna, where the peace talks took place, Kerry says the agreement was long in the works because the United States and its allies made tough demands. “Believe me, had we been willing to settle for a lesser deal, we would have finished this negotiation a long time ago,” Kerry tells the media at a news conference.
    July 18, 2015 – During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Kerry declares that he has no interest in launching a 2016 presidential campaign. “Zero. Absolutely none whatsoever,” Kerry says.
    August 14, 2015 – Kerry visits Havana, Cuba, to raise the flag above the US. Embassy as it reopens for the first time in 54 years.
    October 20, 2015 – Receives Foreign Policy magazine’s Diplomat of the Year award, mainly for the nuclear deal with Iran.
    November 17, 2015 – Kerry draws a distinction between the two terror attacks in Paris in 2015, that the terrorists who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in January had a “rationale,” as opposed to Friday’s events, which Kerry describes as “indiscriminate” violence.
    April 11, 2016 – Kerry becomes the first ever sitting US secretary of state to visit the Hiroshima memorial in Japan. Hiroshima was devastated when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city in August 1945, killing 140,000 people — either initially from the impact or later due to radiation exposure.
    December 10, 2016 – French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault presents Kerry with the insignia of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor at a ceremony in Paris.
    January 20, 2017 – Leaves office.
    March 1, 2017 – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announces that Kerry will be joining them as a visiting distinguished statesman.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/20/us/john-kerry—fast-facts/index.html

    Prostate awareness ‘dangerously low’ in British men – BBC News

    Image copyright Thinkstock

    British men are dangerously ignorant of the prostate gland, according to a men’s health charity.

    It is crucial for sex as it helps produce semen and is involved in ejaculation.

    But it is also the leading cause of cancer in men, with 40,000 diagnosed each year, Prostate Cancer UK says.

    A survey by the charity showed nearly one in five men did not even know they had a prostate and men were “blind” to the risk of cancer.

    The gland, which is about the size of a walnut, sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

    It produces the fluid that nourishes sperm.

    The survey of 1,900 men found:

    • 92% were clueless about the gland’s role
    • 54% did not know where it was
    • 17% did not know they had a prostate

    Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Angela Culhane, told the BBC News website: “Men are very ignorant about prostate cancer and it’s dangerous because it is actually the most common cancer in men.

    “The things it does affect – ejaculation and sexual function, urine flow and incontinence – are not regularly talked about over the dinner table or in the pub.”

    Image copyright Prostate Cancer UK

    Nearly 11,000 men die from prostate cancer each year.

    It can have few symptoms in the early stages, and because of its location most symptoms are linked to urination:

    • needing to urinate more often, especially at night
    • needing to run to the toilet
    • difficulty in starting to urinate
    • weak urine flow or taking a long time while urinating
    • feeling your bladder has not emptied fully

    Ms Culhane said: “A man in his 30s with none of the risk factors shouldn’t be overly worried – but for men at higher risk, they should have a conversation with their GP or one of our specialist nurses.

    “If they have a family history, are black [black men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as the overall population] or are over 50, then, generally, they should be thinking about having a conversation.

    “As a country, we need to wake up and stop men dying needlessly.

    Ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it – only fighting it will.”

    Former England and Newcastle United footballer Les Ferdinand, who saw his grandfather suffer with the disease at the end of his life, said: “I’m not surprised so many men don’t know what their prostate does – it’s an easy gland to ignore.

    “In fact, until prostate cancer affected my family, my knowledge of the prostate was pretty slim.

    “Don’t ignore the statistics and don’t ignore your risk.

    “Join the fight to beat the disease.”

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36105272