Cancer occurs when multiple genetic mutations take place, whereby cells begin to grow uncontrollably. This leads to a cancerous tumour which can spread to other areas in the body. A study reveals how many sexual partners you’ve had is linked to the deadly disease.
Researchers analysed data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) involving adults aged 50 and over in England.
The analysis included 5,722 participants who reported on their number of sexual partners and their health.
The average age of participants was 64, and almost three-quarters were married.
- Breast cancer: Women ‘too ashamed’ of breasts to spot health risk
The questionnaire also asked the participants if they had any long-term health conditions.
The researchers found a statistically significant association between the number of lifetime sexual partners and risk of a cancer diagnosis among men and women.
Men who reported between two to four lifetime sexual partners were 57 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer than those who reported up to one sexual partner.
And men who reported 10 or more sexual partners were 69 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with the disease.
For women, there was a 91 percent increased odds of being diagnosed with cancer if they had sexual relations with 10 or more people compared to women who only had up to one sexual partner.
To conclude, the researchers state having more than 10 sexual partners over a lifetime is linked to increased odds of getting cancer for both genders.
The study, published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, also found that women who reported five or more lifetime sexual partners were 64 percent more likely to have a limiting chronic condition than those who said they had up to one sexual partner.
While the study doesn’t establish cause, researchers state it mirrors previous findings linking sexually transmitted infections in the development of several cancers and hepatitis.
The researchers said: “The finding that number of lifetime sexual partners is associated with limiting long-standing illness in women and not men should be noted.
“Further research is required to identify mechanisms that explain this observed association and the divergent pattern between men and women.”
In the study, 22 percent of men and under 8 percent of women reported 10 or more sexual partners.
The NHS note other lifestyle factors that could increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
- Bowel cancer symptoms: Sign in your stomach that could signal disease
The health body notes smoking is a significant risk factor to developing cancer.
Another known risk is leading a sedentary lifestyle, whereby exercise is greatly limited.
Also eating an unhealthy diet can contribute to the development of the disease.
Macmillan Cancer Support add other risk factors into the mix.
The charity states: “For most people, increasing age is the biggest risk factor for developing cancer.
“In general, people over 65 have the greatest risk of developing cancer.”
It adds: “Drinking alcohol increases your risk of mouth and throat cancers. In general, the more you drink, the higher your risk.”
Macmillan Cancer Support also note how burning from overexposure to the sun can increase your risk of skin cancers.
Source: Read Full Article