older men

  1. Prostate biopsies double your infection risk

    Imagine fighting for your life after a cancer scare... only to find out you didn't even have cancer in the first place.

    Well, imagine no more: If you're a man getting a prostate biopsy, you're putting your life on the line -- because a new study finds the biopsy itself can double your risk of a life-threatening infection in the month after the procedure.

    Researchers compared data on 17,472 older men who had prostate biopsies to that of 134,977 who did not, and found that 6.9 percent of the men who underwent the procedure were hospitalized in the 30 days afterward -- versus just 2.9 percent of the un-biopsied.

    They also wrote in the Journal of Urology that biopsy victims suffered 2.3 times the infection rate of men who kept their prostates away from the pokers.

    Adding insult to infection risk, the median age of men in the study was 73 -- or what even many mainstream docs will admit is well past the age of prostate worry.

    The simple truth is that the cancer won't hurt most older men (or even younger ones... but that's a topic for another day) -- but the infections caused by the biopsies can be positively deadly, and it's not hard to see why: The rectum is a germ highway.

    Fortunately, the traffic is usually one-way, so the bacteria never have a chance to get inside your body. That only happens when a sharp instrument -- like, say, a biopsy needle -- works its way through and pokes a few holes here and there.

    Suddenly, the traffic isn't one-way anymore -- and the bacteria get a free ride right into your bloodstream.

    One study earlier this year found that 2 percent of prostate biopsy patients battle sepsis, a potentially deadly infection of the blood. Another study found that nine out of every 10,000 biopsy patients die of infection in the month after.

    Here's the cruelest part of that last number: These were all men who didn't even have the prostate cancer that the biopsy was supposed to detect... dead.

    But even if they did have cancer, they never needed to fight and lose this infection battle -- because as I told you earlier, prostate cancer is simply not the killer it's been made out to be... especially for older men like the ones in this study.

    It's one case where you're better off not knowing -- because sometimes, what you don't know really won't hurt you.

  2. Older men still love sex

    Who says you can't get busy as you get old?

    A new study out of Australia finds that age is no obstacle when it comes to sex--because men in their 70s, 80s and even 90s are still doing it.

    And many of them even say they still consider sex an important part of life.

    Researchers asked 2,783 Australian men between the ages of 75 and 95 about their sex lives, and found that 49 percent overall considered it to be at least “somewhat important.”

    And nearly a third overall had sex at least once within the previous year.

    Naturally, the researchers found that the youngest of the old--those in the 75-79 age group--were most active, with 40 percent of them still having sex. But even the oldest were doing it: Eleven percent of those between 90 and 95 reported at least one sexual encounter over the previous year.

    And of the men who were still having sex, 43 percent said they wanted more.

    Here's your odd stat of the day: Four of the seniors (0.5 percent) said they were having too much sex.

    Rough life, right?

    The study also confirmed the link between testosterone and sex drive, because the researchers found that the men who did it most also had the highest levels of manly hormones.

    Call it one more reason to get your own testosterone levels checked--and boosted if needed--no matter how old you are.

    And while this study looked at Australian men, other studies have found similar numbers here in the United States. A 2007 study found that more than half of all men between the ages of 65 and 74 were still having sex--as were 26 percent of men between 74 and 85 years old.

    Another study funded by the makers of Trojan condoms found that up to 30 percent of men in their 80s were using their beds for more than just sleep.

    The researchers behind the new study say that while many men were slowed by injuries, physical limitations in themselves or their spouse or the lack of a partner, others were slowed by their own doctors.

    Too many physicians just assume older men aren't doing it anymore--and prescribe drugs with sexual side effects without even warning them.

    The researchers say docs should talk more about sex with their older patients, but don't be afraid to take matters into your own hands here and initiate the conversation yourself.

    Just don't ask about Viagra--ask instead about the natural alternatives to your current meds that will treat your condition without putting a stop to your sex life.

    Many older men sexually satisfied in 70s, 80s, even 90s

  3. Prostate cancer study dances around surgery question

    A recent study found that older men with early stage low- or moderate–grade prostate cancer are more likely to die of something other than the prostate cancer.
  4. Study should be final word on PSA for older men

    If you're over 75 years old and some doctor is still trying to give you a PSA screening for prostate cancer, get a second opinion – fast.

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