Tag Archives: HPV

New study finds that gay men are twice as likely to report having cancer

From the Sydney Morning Herald.

Excerpt:

A large study in California released Monday found that cancer may be nearly twice as prevalent among gay men as among straight men.

The study relied on self-reported data from the California Health Interview survey, the largest state survey of its kind in the United States, and included more than 120,000 people over three years: 2001, 2003 and 2005.

A total of 3,690 men reported a cancer diagnosis as adults. Gay men were 1.9 times as likely as straight men to have been diagnosed with cancer, said the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer.

There was no such difference witnessed among lesbian and straight women, but gay and bisexual females were twice as likely to say they were in fair or poor health after a cancer diagnosis compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

[…]The survey did not address how cancer survival rates may differ among those of varying sexual orientation, and may not reflect a true difference in the actual cancer rate because it relied on data from survivors only.

But researchers believe that higher anal cancer rates, caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses, as well as complications from human immunodeficiency virus, may be at least partly to blame.

“The greater cancer prevalence among gay men may be caused by a higher rate of anal cancer, as suggested by earlier studies that point to an excess risk of anal cancer,” said the study.

Researchers “did not have data available on the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which is higher among gay men, and may have contributed to the significant association of cancer prevalence and sexual orientation.”

HIV and AIDS have been linked to a series of cancers including Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as anal, lung, testicular cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Republicans pushing hard for school choice at the state level

School choice is a major issue for Republicans in five different states.

Excerpt:

2011 is shaping-up to be a monumental year for school choice. The year kicked-off with big changes in Wisconsin, where in February, Governor Scott Walker broke the union stranglehold on public education and lifted the cap on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the nation’s oldest voucher program.

In March, Utah passed a statewide online learning program. The Beehive State passed the The Statewide Online Education Program, which allows children in grades 9-12 to take highschool coursework online from public or private providers anywhere in the state. Also in March, in an historic win for low-income children in the nation’s capital, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was restored and expanded, thanks to the leadership of Speaker John Boehner.

In April, Arizona created education savings accounts (ESAs) for special-needs children, who can now receive 90 percent of state per-pupil expenditures in their ESAs, which they can use on a variety of education options, including private school tuition.

And in May, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels enacted the largest school voucher program in the country, which will help an estimated 600,000 children attend a private school of their choice.

Now, children in Oklahoma could soon benefit from a proposed tuition tax credit program. A bill which is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk would provide scholarships to children in low- and middle-income families to attend a private school of their choice. Oklahoma is building on the voucher program for special needs children passed early last year, and is on its way to having one of the most robust education markets in the country.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, Democrat women are trying to push more sex education into the schools, while Republican men try to slow them down.

Excerpt:

Bananas and condom races became topics of debate in the Illinois Senate this afternoon, when lawmakers rejected a measure that would have given the State Board of Education new control over sex education.

Under the legislation, schools choosing to offer sex education would be required to teach “medically accurate and developmentally appropriate” curriculum — local districts would choose from a range of material offered by the state board, then parents could review the material and decide whether or not their child should participate.

Republican lawmakers grilled the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, on what would qualified as “age-appropriate” material for the junior high and high school students in question.

State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, asked Steans if materials suggesting “having races by putting condoms on bananas” were suited for sixth-graders.

State Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, said he believed adopting the new standards could push parents with “traditional values” to pull their children from public schools.

[…]”This is not just educating them on math and science — this is educating them on an issue that could literally save their lives,” said state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Plainfield.

The funny thing is that all the evidence shows that increasing sex education actually increases the number of out-of-wedlock births and sexually-transmitted diseases. If we really were serious about stopping out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, we would be pushing abstinence education – which is the only thing that is proven to work.

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UK approves explicit sex education materials for five-year old children

From the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Creative Minority Report via Foxfier)

Excerpt:

Explicit cartoons, films and books have been cleared for use to teach sex education to schoolchildren as young as five.

A disturbing dossier exposes a wide range of graphic resources recommended for primary school lessons.

The shocking material – promoted by local councils and even the BBC – teaches youngsters about adult language and sexual intercourse.

Among the books singled out in the report is How Did I Begin? by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom which has a cartoon image of a couple in bed in an intimate embrace.

It is accompanied by an explanation – using frank and adult terminology – of the act of intercourse.

Another, called The Primary School Sex And Relationships Education Pack by HIT UK, includes material to allow children aged five to 11 to learn about different sexual positions and prostitution.

The BBC has been highlighted for an educational video featuring full frontal nudity, while its learning resources department, BBC Active, shows computer-generated images of male genitalia.

All the material has been recommended by councils for use at ages ‘seven-plus’.

[…]Before the election, the Liberal Democrats said they ‘unreservedly’ supported mandatory sex education in primary schools.

I wonder if they will be doing away with the right of parents to opt their students out of the sex education curriculum, like they do in Ontario, Canada. And in Germany, if your child doesn’t attend the sex education classes, then you are fined – and if you can’t pay the fine then you go to jail. Sweden also jails parents for homeschooling.

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Researchers link rise in some cancers to increased sexual activity

From USA Today. (H/T Ruth Blog)

Excerpt:

Although the link between HPV and these types of cancers is indisputable, the association with oral sex is strong but a little more speculative, experts say.

A 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that younger people with head and neck cancers who tested positive for oral HPV infection were more likely to have had multiple vaginal and oral sex partners in their lifetime.

In the study, having six or more oral sex partners over a lifetime was associated with a 3.4 times higher risk for oropharyngeal cancer — cancers of the base of the tongue, back of the throat or tonsils. Having 26 or more vaginal-sex partners tripled the risk.

And the association increased as the number of partners — in either category — increased.

The researchers also reported that cancers of the tonsil and base of the tongue have been increasing every year since 1973, and wrote that “widespread oral sex practices among adolescents may be a contributing factor in this increase.”

The researchers concluded that in their study, oral sex was “strongly associated” with oropharyngeal cancer, but noted that they could not “rule out transmission through direct mouth-to-mouth contact” such as French kissing.

In 90% of cases of HPV infection in the body, the immune system clears HPV naturally within two years, according to federal health agencies, but in some cases, certain types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer or less common malignancies, such as oropharyngeal cancer. A 2010 Swedish study, in fact, suggested that the rise in oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer in a number of countries “is caused by a slow epidemic of HPV infection-induced (cancers).”

HPV tends to be site specific, explained Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, an adjunct instructor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, it tends to stay wherever it first enters the body, be it the vagina (which in some cases could lead to cervical cancer), or the mouth and throat.

Now here is the scary part:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2002, some 90% of males and 88% of females aged 25 to 44 reported ever having oral sex with a partner of the opposite sex.

Comparable figures from 1992 showed that about three-quarters of men aged 20 to 39 and closer to 70% of women aged 18 to 59 having ever given or received oral sex.

And don’t forget that breast cancer has been linked to having abortions by several independent studies.