More promiscuous people are more likely to have cancer in old age, according to a study.
Researchers discovered that having 10 or more sexual partners during their lives almost doubled the risk of a woman and increased cancer by two thirds for men.
A link between sexually transmitted diseases and cancers, for which HPV is known to increase the risk of diseases in the cervix and penis, for example, may be the cause.
And people who had sex with more partners also tend to drink more alcohol and smoke more cigarettes, the scientists said – but they also did more exercise.
The finding was no reason to avoid sex, she added and said that sexual intercourse provides a variety of physical and mental health benefits that outweigh the long-term risk.
Researchers said that a higher risk of catching STDs could translate into a higher risk of developing cancer (stock image)
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, collected data from nearly 6,000 men and women over 50 years of age.
Among men, those who reported more than ten lovers in their lives had a 69 percent higher risk of cancer, compared to those who had only one or none at all.
Women who reported 10 or more sexual partners were 91 percent more likely to have cancer.
Only 486 men (19 percent) and 239 women (7.5 percent) admitted having had sex with 10 or more people.
Dr. Lee Smith, an expert from Anglia Ruskin University and the author of the study, told MailOnline: “We expected there to be a relationship between the number of sexual partners and the risk of cancer, because previous research has shown that specific STDs can lead to various forms of cancer.
“A larger number of sexual partners does indeed mean greater potential exposure to STDs. It is interesting that the risk in women is higher than in men.
“This may be because the relationship between certain STDs and cancer is stronger in women, such as HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer compared to HPV and penile cancer.”
People in the study who was published in the journal BMJ Sexual and reproductive health, was on average 64 years old and most were married.
The most common category for both sexes was one or no sexual partners – 785 out of 2,537 men and 1,285 out of 3,185 women.
In both sexes, people with a more colorful sexual history were also younger, single, and in the richest or poorest communities.
And those who reported a higher number of sexual partners were also more likely to smoke, drink often, and perform more vigorous physical activity each week, the study found.
DATING APPS BLAMMED FOR INCREASING STI RATES
Experts have warned that clinics are “struggling” to cope with the rising numbers of STDs because dating apps encourage casual sex.
Syphilis cases increased by half in Wales between 2016 and 2017, and record numbers of people over 65 receive syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in England, figures have shown.
Experts and doctors in the field have warned the rapid reversal of partners and the increase in casual sex fed by online dating apps can make getting an STD more likely.
And they also make it harder to get in touch with partners from the past, who may not have friends in common.
Dr. Olwen Williams, president of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV told it BBC in October: ‘The frequency of app hook-ups and dating apps used as a kind of medium for access to sexual activity seems to have increased considerably.
“What we can say about sexual mixing and sexual networking is that things have changed considerably.
“We are seeing a real rise in STDs. If we only saw an increase in testing, our figures would look slightly different, but it feels that way.
“Certainly in my career I have never seen so much gonorrhea or syphilis in my area.”
When all the data were analyzed, there was a significant link between the number of lifelong sexual partners and the risk of cancer diagnosis in both sexes.
Participants were also asked to assess their own health and to report any long-term condition or defect that in any way affected routine activity.
Researchers claim that the results provide some evidence that the number of lifelong sexual partners is associated with adverse health outcomes in a sample of older adults in England.
Dr. However, Smith did not want to discourage people from having sex.
He said: “Sexual activity has multiple physical and mental health benefits, especially in old age, and we would not want to discourage sexual activity in older adults.
“People who have risky sexual encounters should contact their caregivers to be checked for possible sexually transmitted infections and openly discuss how to minimize this risk with their caregivers. The use of appropriate protection will reduce the risk of future cancers. ”
Researchers noted that their study was unable to determine the cause, but said the findings are similar to those of previous studies, where sexually transmitted infections were involved in the development of various cancers and hepatitis.
They did not obtain information about the specific types of cancer that participants reported, but speculated: “… the increased risk of cancer can be caused by those types that are known to be associated with [sexually transmitted infections]. “
And they suggested that inquiring about the number of sexual partners could complement existing cancer screening programs by helping to identify those at risk.
That is, if further investigation can show a causal link between the number of sexual partners and the subsequent ill health.
But an explanation for the gender difference in the long-term disease risk remains “elusive,” they wrote, especially given that men usually have more lifelong sexual partners than women, while women visit a doctor more often when they feel sick, with the associated consequences for their long-term health.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF STIS?
Not all STDs have symptoms, so health experts recommend regular testing in a sexual health clinic or with self-tests.
Common STDs include:
- unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
- pain when urinating
- nodules or skin growth around the genitals or anus
- unusual vaginal bleeding
- itchy genitals or anus
- blisters and ulcers around the genitals or anus
Other symptoms specific to each STD, in addition to those above, are listed below.
Chlamydia: Most people with chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms and don’t know they have it. Women may experience stomach pain, bleeding after sex and between periods. Men can have pain and swelling in the testicles.
syphilis: The symptoms of syphilis are not always clear. They include small, painless sores or sores on the genitals, anus or other areas such as the mouth, a spotty red rash that often affects the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, small skin growth, white spots in the mouth, tiredness, headache, joint pain, fever and swollen glands.
Gonorrhea: A thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, and in women, bleeding before menstruation. About one in ten infected men and almost half of the women experience no symptoms.
trichomoniasis: In women, trich can cause pain, swelling or itching around the vagina or thighs, pain during sex, and abnormal vaginal discharge that can be thick, thin or frothy and yellow-green in color. It can also have a fish odor.
In men, trich can cause pain during ejaculation, more frequent urination, thin, white discharge from the penis or pain, swelling and redness around the head of the penis or foreskin.
Genital Warts: Causes one or more painless growth or lump around the vagina, penis or anus, itching or bleeding from your genitals or anus, and a change in your normal urine flow (for example, sideways).
Genital herpes: Causes small blisters that burst to show red, open sores around your genitals, anus, thighs or buttocks, tingling, burning or itching around your genitals, pain when urinating and in women vaginal discharge that is not normal for her.
Pubic lice: Causes itching in the affected areas, especially at night, black powder in your underwear and blue spots or small blood stains on the skin caused by lice bites.
Scabies: one of the first symptoms is intense itching, especially at night. The rash can appear anywhere, but it often starts between the fingers. The rash spreads and changes into small red dots. It is passed on with close skin contact.