Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Embarrassing Bodies
23 January 2015

Embarrassing Bodies

This might make for uncomfortable reading for men. Prostates (growing cells shown) lack the glamour of other body parts and few men want to know much about them, until it's too late. Prostate cancer – the commonest cancer in males – isn't just an old man's disease. The number of young men it's striking has risen six-fold since the 1990s, and worse still, it's very aggressive, giving away few signs before metastasising. Embarrassment, and a lack of awareness cost lives. Although it's unclear why the disease is affecting so many more young people, known risk factors include heredity, stress, and in a striking parallel with breast cancer in women, insomnia. Pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and chemicals awash in our foods, gardens, and bathrooms are suspected culprits although their effects remain understudied. Other risk factors include processed foods, too much red meat and dairy, and obesity.

Written by Tristan Farrow

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