Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. To prevent new cancer from starting, scientists look for risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases the chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor and anything that decreases the chance of cancer development is called protective factor. For example smoking is a risk factor while a healthy diet is a protective factor.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. In general doctors recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer make choices that benefit the overall health of the person.

Following are the best preventive measures for prostrate cancer:

  • Choosing a low fat diet and full of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Food that contains fats like meat, nuts, oils and dairy products must be avoided. This is because men who consume the highest amount of fat each day have a tendency to grow obese. This over weight increases the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Reducing the amount of fat intake helps control weight and also keeps the heart healthy. Reduction of fat or oil while cooking, eating lean meat and low fat dairy products are some of the precaution that men can take to prevent prostate cancer.
  • Eat more fat from plants than animals. The use of plant based fat is healthier than animal fat that include lard and butter.  For example cooking food with olive oil is better than using butter. It is advisable to garnishing salads with nuts or seeds instead of cheese.
  • Increase the intake of fruits and nuts each day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Eating more fruits and vegetables also leaves less room for other foods.
  • The fat in fish which contains a fatty acid called omega-3 is the only animal fat that can be taken as a preventive for prostate cancer. Fishes like- tuna, salmons, sardines and trout’s are rich in this fatty acid.
  • Reduce the intake of dairy products each day. Studies prove that men who depended more on dairy products and included milk, cheese and yogurt in their everyday diet ran the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Foods like soya beans, green tea are healthy substitutes.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called, the gonococcus.

Transmission of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a very common disease that is transmitted during sexual intercourse (whether vaginal or anal) or during oral sex. It is a highly contagious disease, but ejaculation is necessary for its transmission, as it only spread when a healthy person comes in contact with the genital mucosa of an infected person. It occurs in all geographic areas and social classes, but is more prevalent in large urban areas, social classes of low socio-economic status, people with a history of other sexually transmitted diseases, and with people who practice unprotected sex with unknown partners or change partners frequently.

The risk of acquiring gonorrhea is higher for women who have sex with an infected man, than vice versa.

Treatment of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is easily and effectively treated by penicillin, tetracycline or other antibiotics in adequate doses (most treatments consist of a single dose of the antibiotic in adequate amount). It is important to remember that the treatment has to be applied to all the sexual contacts of the patient.

After applying the treatment, one would need to conduct a few tests, to confirm the cure of the infection.

Prevention of gonorrhea

The risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases is directly related to the number and frequency of changes of sexual partners. Therefore, the first step is to limit changing sexual partners. You must also know your partner’s sexual history to make sure that they do not have any STDs. The risk decreases with stable sex with a single partner.

The use of latex condoms reduces the chances of infection, although it should be taken into account, it will only be effective if used properly, placing it before the onset of sexual intercourse, and holding it until the end of intercourse.

Crabs are the common name for pubic lice, which are tiny flat-bodied and wingless insects, which live on the skin. They are also called “crabs” because they have “claws” that are used to cling to the hair of a person. They are light brown and are of the size of a pinhead. They feed on the blood of the host organism, but can live up to 24 hours, without consuming blood. Pubic lice infect hairy parts of the body, especially around pubic hair. Small scabs appear at first. Their eggs can be seen in the hair near the skin in the form of small white dots stuck to the hair. The incubation period of eggs is six to eight days.

Anyone can get pubic lice. Usually, though not always, it is transmitted through sexual contact. They can also be transmitted through close personal contact or by using sheets, unwashed clothing or towels of an infected person.

Treatment of Pubic Lice

Pubic lice are treated with creams, lotions, special shampoos that can be purchased at a pharmacy. The pharmacist can recommend the brand. There are pubic lice medicines sold by prescription. It may be necessary to apply these medications more than once. Sometimes, the entire course of the treatment has to be repeated. Even after completing the treatment can be itchy for a while. Sometimes they are difficult to remove with common over the counter medicines and one might need to use certain chemicals with the consultation of a doctor.

Prevention

If you have pubic lice, avoid close physical contact with others prior to treatment, to prevent passing it to others. Be sure to wash your clothes and linens in hot water or dry clean them and iron them with a hot iron. This will kill the insects and their eggs.

Often, it is suggested that shaving the pubic hair is the best way to prevent occurrence of pubic lice or crabs.

Chancroid is a contagious infection which is caused by the bacterium, Haemophilus ducreyi. Chancroid, also known as chancre, is a sexually transmitted disease, which is quite common in tropical and sub-tropical regions, but it’s rare in other parts of the world. It is characterized by the appearance of one or more painful ulcers and suppuration of the inguinal lymph nodes. It is often associated with poor hygiene and is common among young people who have sex with commercial sex workers on a regular basis.

Symptoms and signs of chancroid

The chancroid symptoms appear between 4 and 7 days after having contracted the infection. The first evidence of chancre is usually the appearance of one or more sores on the genitals. These ulcers are surrounded by a thin red rim, which gets filled with pus. After a short period of time, the ulcers break to leave open wounds, which are very painful in nature. These ulcers may be located in the penis, vagina, anus, vulva or uterus.

Prevention and treatment of chancroid

Since chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease, like all other STDs, the first step for preventing this disease is to be careful before indulging in any sort of sexual relationship. One should also take proper care of their personal hygiene, especially after having intercourse.  Indulging in safe sex, using condoms properly and avoiding overly promiscuous behavior, would also help to minimize the impact of this disease.

In most cases, doctors and sexologists prescribe antibiotics to treat this disease. The most effective antibiotics, which are used, include azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and ceftriaxone. In cases where major inflammation of the lymph nodes occurs, it will be necessary to drain the fluid, either with a needle or through local surgery.

A fact that everyone should know is that, suffering from this disease does not guarantee immunity against it, so it can contract again, unless we take appropriate prophylactic measures.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are the most common infectious diseases caused by the micro organisms and spread through any type of sexual activity, involving the sex organs.  These diseases are also termed as sexually Transmitted Infections.

If your sexual life and present symptoms suggest that you have a Sexually Transmitted Infection, you must go for laboratory tests that can identify the cause and detect co infections you might also have contracted.

There are treatments to treat the diseases related to Sexually Transmitted Infections, but the best way is to take the preventive measures and stay away from these dreadful diseases. There are several ways to avoid or reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections.

  • The most effective way to avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases is to abstain from sex.
  • Stay with one uninfected partner. One should practice to stay in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected.
  • Avoid anonymous sex. It may increase your risk of possible exposure to an Sexually Transmitted Infection.
  • Before any serious sexual contact, communicate with your partner about practicing safer sex.
  • Get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated early, before sexual exposure, is effective in preventing certain types of STIs. Vaccines are available to prevent two viral STIs that can cause cancer — human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls between ages 9 and 26, and the hepatitis B vaccine is usually given to newborns.
  • Avoid vaginal and anal intercourse with new partners. Use a latex condom or dental dam to prevent direct contact between the oral and genital mucosa.
  • Use a new latex condom for each sex act, whether oral, vaginal or anal.
  • Do not indulge in sexual act under the influence alcohol or drugs.
  • Teach your child and make them aware of the do’s and dont’s.   While you can’t control your teen or preteen’s actions, you can help your child understand the risks of sexual activity and that it’s advisable to wait to have sex. Sex education in schools will also help our children to understand the pros and cons of the issue.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the uterus (womb), Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding structures of a woman.

The fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries can be damaged and it can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain.

Causes

When a woman has more sex partners it leads to a greater her risk of developing PID. Also, a woman whose partner has more than one sex partner is at greater risk of developing PID, because of the potential for more exposure to infectious agents.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of PID vary from mild to severe.

  • When PID is caused by Chalamydial Infection, a woman may be more likely to experience only mild symptoms even when serious damage is being done to her reproductive organs.
  • Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms
  • Fever (100.4 F or higher)
  • Unusual vaginal discharge that may smell foul
  • Painful sex
  • Painful urination
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding (monthly bleeding)
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

Preventions & Recommendations

PID is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often slight and mild. In many cases PID is undetected because the woman or her health care provider fails to recognize the implications of mild or nonspecific symptoms. Because there are no precise tests for PID, a diagnosis is usually based on clinical findings.

  • Preventing PID by Preventing (Sexually Transmitted Decease (STD) s or by getting early treatment.  Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately.
  • Stopping sexual activity until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.
  • Using latex male condoms consistently and correctly.
  • Conducting an appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider and indicating more frequent screening for some women.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the genital areas of males and females during vaginal, anal sex, oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. It can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners—even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms.

There are more than 40 HPV types. The mouth and throat are mostly infected. Most people unaware of it even they have it.

Signs and Symptoms

Mostly the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.  But uncleared HPV can cause different symptoms and health problems:

Genital warts

A small bump or group of bumps appears in the genital area in small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. Warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partner. Genital warts might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number if left untreated. They will not turn into cancer.

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis( RRP)

Rarely warts grow in the throat, block the airway, and cause a hoarse voice or troubled breathing.

Other HPV-related cancers

These are less common but serious cancers and not visible until they are advanced and hard to treat which include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils).

Tests

Certain Pap test findings of HPV tests can be used for women at certain ages for cervical cancer. There is no general / approved test for men or women to check one’s overall “HPV status”.

Preventions & Recommendations

  • Genital warts:  Protecting by vaccine (Gardasil)
  • Cervical Cancer:  Preventing women by Cervarix and Gardasil vaccines, routine cervical cancer screening and follow-up of abnormal results.
  • Anal Cancers:  Protecting female and male by Gardasil vaccine. Screening is not routinely recommended since it needs more information.
  • Penile Cancers: No approved screening test to find early signs.
  • Oropharyngeal Cancers: No approved screening test to find early signs
  • RRP: Cesarean delivery is not recommended for women with genital warts to prevent juvenile-onset RRP (JORRP) in their babies. Because it is not sure that prevents JORRP in infants and children.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a liver disease caused by a virus.  Hepatitis C is a different virus from Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B.  It causes long term liver damage by causing scarring of the liver (Cirrhosis) and in a small percentage of infected people, can lead to liver cancer.

HCV is spread when people share blood or body fluids containing blood.  To get Hepatitis C you must share blood or body fluids containing blood with a person who has the disease.

Examples of high risk behavior are:

  • Sharing needles or other injection equipment to do injection drugs.
  • Sharing needles, ink or other bloody equipment for tattooing or body piercing.
  • Sharing razors, toothbrushes, nail scissors or other personal hygiene items that maybe contaminated with blood
  • Receiving infected blood or blood products before 1990.
  • Needle-stick injuries in health care.

Most people who become infected with Hepatitis C feel quite healthy and have no symptoms, but they can spread the infection to others.  These people may become ill. Some symptoms of Hepatitis C may include:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite (don’t feel like eating)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellow appearance to the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Clay colored or white stool
  • Tea colored urine

How to Prevent HCV Transmission:

The only sure way to prevent the spread of HCV (not catch Hepatitis C) is by abstaining from (not doing) risk behaviors.  For example: not sharing injection drug equipment and not sharing razors. You can reduce the risk of Hepatitis C infection by:

  • Use of clean needle every time you inject yourself (use needle exchange program)
  • Do not share toothbrushes, razors, nail scissors and any personal hygiene items that may be contaminated with blood
  • Always practice safe sex by using condoms during sexual intercourse (oral vaginal, anal)
  • Ensure that tattooing and body piercing establishments follow the right steps to prevent blood borne infections
  • If you are doing your own tattooing/body piercing, do not share needles and/or equipment (E.g. Ink, gauze, etc.)

Genital herpes is a common disease caused by a virus. The virus is called the herpes simplex virus type 2. It causes painful blisters that break open and form sores on the genital area of both men and women.

You can become infected with the virus by contact with broken blisters or sores on the genitals, mouth, or rectal area of an infected person. This infection can be passed from person to person during sexual intercourse. You may spread it with your hands if the virus gets on your hands.

Once you’re infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. Usually the virus is in an inactive state, which means it is staying in nerve cells near the spine and not causing symptoms. The first time you come into contact with the virus, you may not have any symptoms.

Symptoms may occur about 2 to 10 days after the virus first enters your body and may include:

  • Painful sores (blisters) on the genitals
  • Fever
  • General discomfort, muscle aches
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Itching around genitals
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pain during intercourse

Genital herpes cannot be cured. The virus will stay in your body. However, your health care provider may prescribe acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir to relieve the symptoms more quickly. The medicine will help you have fewer and shorter outbreaks in the future. If a pregnant woman has an active herpes infection at the time her baby is born, she could pass the disease to her baby. If you are pregnant and have had herpes, tell your health care provider so steps can be taken to avoid infecting the baby at delivery.

Following preventive measures should be taken to avoid this infection:

  • Practice safe sex. Always use latex or polyurethane condoms during any sexual contact because it is not possible always to know or predict when the virus can be shed or passed to another.
  • Ask your partner(s) if they have had herpes because herpes may be spread from areas not protected by condoms; for example, the groin, thigh, and abdomen.
  • Avoid oral-genital and oral-anal sex with someone who has fever blisters (cold sores) in the mouth. Cold sores are caused by a related virus that can infect the genitals.

 

Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris is an infection of the groin area and it a caused by a type of fungus, Tinia. Medically it is a dermatophyte fungal infection of the groin region in either sex, though it is more often seen in males.

Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and spreads in the groin area.

This problem is common in adult men and adolescent boys. Sometimes Jock itch can be accompanied with athlete’s foot and ringworm. The fungus causing jock itch survives in warm, moist areas.

Mostly Jock itch occurs when there is regular friction from clothes and there is prolonged wetness in the groin area, for example from sweating in this region.

Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to the other either by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing of the infected person.

Sometimes Jock itch can be confused with Candidal intertrigo. This is also an infection of the skin caused by Candida albicans, more specifically located between intertriginous folds of adjacent skin, which can be present in the groin or scrotum, and be indistinguishable from fungal infections caused by Tinia. However, candidal infections tend to both appear and disappear with treatment more quickly.

Symptoms

  • Itching in groin, thigh skin folds, or anus
  • Red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze — The patches often have sharply-defined edges and are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center
  • Abnormally dark or light skin

Treatment

Though Jock itch usually responds to self-care within a couple of weeks but if your infection lasts longer than 2 weeks and it is severe, or frequently returns then it is better to see a doctor.

Other treatments are as follows:

  • Keep the skin clean and dry.
  • Don’t wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area.
  • Apply topical over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate.

Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.

Other causes of itching in the groin include:

  • Lichen simplex chronicus
  • Eczema
  • Pubic lice
  • Chemical irritation

Prevention

  • Keep the groin area clean and dry.
  • Don’t wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area. Avoid tight-fitting and rough-textured clothing.
  • Wear loose-fitting underwear.
  • Wash athletic supporters frequently.
  • After bathing, apply antifungal or drying powders if you are susceptible to jock itch.