Vasectomy may increase risk of aggressive prostate cancer

first_imgVasectomy is associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The researchers found that the association remained even among men who received regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, suggesting the increased risk of lethal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias. It is the largest and most comprehensive study to date to look at the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.The study appeared online July 7 in Journal of Clinical Oncology.The results showed a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer overall in men who had a vasectomy. Vasectomy was not significantly associated with risk of low-grade cancer; however, it was associated with stronger risks of advanced and lethal prostate cancer, by an additional 20 percent and 19 percent respectively. Among men who received regular PSA screening, the relative increase in risk of lethal prostate cancer was 56 percent. The effect appeared to be stronger among men who had a vasectomy at a younger age.“This study follows our initial publication on vasectomy and prostate cancer in 1993, with 19 additional years of follow-up and tenfold greater number of cases. The results support the hypothesis that vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer,” said co-author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH.Vasectomy is a common form of contraception in the United States, with about 15 percent of men undergo the procedure. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among American men, so identifying risk factors for lethal prostate cancer is important for public health.The researchers analyzed data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed 49,405 American men for up to 24 years between 1986 and 2010. During that time, 6,023 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, including 811 lethal cases. One in four of the men in this study reported having a vasectomy.Prior work on this topic raised concerns that the positive associations could be linked to bias. However, in the present study, the researchers had access to diverse information and could rule out potential biases, including the possibilities that men who have vasectomies seek more medical care in general or have higher rates of PSA screening, or that the association was due driven by differences in sex hormone levels, sexually transmitted infections, or cancer treatment.Among the men in this study, 16 in 1,000 developed lethal prostate cancer during 24 years of follow-up. Although the relative increase in the risk associated with vasectomy was significant, this translates to a comparatively small increase in absolute difference in the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the researchers said. “The decision to opt for a vasectomy as a form of birth control is a highly personal one and a man should discuss the risks and benefits with his physician,” said co-author Kathryn Wilson, research associate in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH.last_img read more

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Exceptional service is in high demand . . . but it doesn’t happen by accident

first_imgConsumer habits continue to evolve. Options for financial services have expanded well beyond what I would have ever imagined when I began my career. Today billions of dollars are invested in technology to improve the consumer experience. Yet with all of the attention being paid to digital channels and mobile banking strategies, one aspect of the equation remains vital to successful member engagement — consistent, quality service experiences.According to a study by PwC, while price and quality are generally top of mind for consumers as they make purchasing decisions, 75 percent of respondents cited positive interactions as influential in their banking choices.Since the beginning of the credit union movement in the early 1900s, quality service has been a touchstone of the industry’s philosophy — “People over Profit” — impacting every aspect of the business model. As a result, credit unions routinely surpassed banks in consumer satisfaction rankings. But with recent efforts to transform the customer experience, banks’ satisfaction rating overall has reached the same level as credit unions at a score of 81, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Credit unions get slightly better scores for in-person service, service speed and call center satisfaction.Attracting and retaining membership continues to be a top priority for just about everyone. As service expectations change, here are a few things that can create exceptional experiences to reinforce your “people first” reputation. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

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PBSO Searching for Driver Involved in Fatal West Palm Hit-and-Run

first_imgThe Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help to locate the driver of a car that was involved in a fatal hit and run crash in West Palm Beach on Friday night.According to a crash report, 67-year-old Natalie Tripodi was struck and killed by an unknown vehicle while trying to walk across the eastbound lanes of Okeechobee Blvd. at Meridian Rd., just east of the Turnpike, around 9:45 p.m.A witness told deputies the traffic light for the unknown vehicle was green when the crash happened.Deputies add the unknown vehicle fled the scene, and Tripodi was pronounced dead at the crash site by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (561) 688-3400.last_img read more

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