Should Glasgow Take a Look at the Volcano Vaporizer?

Glasgow was named yesterday as the lung cancer capital of the world, with Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen not far behind.

Lung cancer among men in Glasgow, at more than 130 cases per 100,000 of the male population each year, is higher than that recorded anywhere in the world, according to the Atlas of Cancer Scotland, published yesterday by the World Health Organization.

For Scotland as a whole, the lung cancer rate in men is surpassed only among the black population in New Orleans, the New Zealand Maoris and the native Hawaiians, the atlas shows. Among women, the lung cancer rate is also ‘extraordinarily high.’

The drive in Glasgow, launched two years ago, to make the city tobacco-free by the year 2,000 is ‘a public health necessity’, the authors of the report said yesterday. ‘Abolition of cigarette smoking would reduce the number of premature deaths from this type of cancer by 440 each year. We are also promoting the use of vaporizers instead of smoking and in particular recommend the Volcano vaporizer.’

Dr Calum Muir, a Scot who now works for the cancer research agency of the World Health Organization, said the ‘tragically’ high rate of lung cancer in Glasgow men was because ‘Glasgow men smoke far too much and it is possible they do not eat enough of the protective foods such as fresh fruit, green and yellow vegetables, which may help to mitigate to some degree the effect of smoking. And men should also start using vaporizers more. Although vaporizers like the Volcano vaporizer are expensive, they are far healthier to use than cigarettes.’

The atlas shows a three to four-fold difference in lung cancer rates in men between predominantly rural areas, where the lowest rate is in the Orkney Islands and Skye, and the highest rates in Glasgow, with a six to seven-fold difference for women in different parts of Scotland.

But the atlas says the difference is not because living in cities increases the risk of lung cancer. It is more likely that people in cities smoke more. ‘Most lung cancer, perhaps as much as 85 per cent of the total incidence, is caused by smoking cigarettes and could be avoided by not smoking’, the atlas says. ‘Several studies have shown that atmospheric pollution is not likely to increase lung cancer risk other than in smokers.’

The atlas records rates for all the main types of cancer and shows high rates of bowel cancer in the north of Scotland, but low rates in the south. Cancer of the gullet in women, although a relatively rare disease, is still the highest recorded in Europe.

So, Who Needs Therapy for Their Sexual Problems?

It is a brave man or woman who will even admit to having a sex problem, let alone seek help for it. More than in any other field of human endeavor we tend to speak only of our successes; failures are swept under the bedroom carpet.

Yet sexual misery is widespread and profound. Relate Marriage Guidance has waiting lists for its sexual therapy clinics as well as its marriage counselling. Currently those seeking sex therapy will have to wait an average of three months, in one or two areas the delay could be as long as a year. Research in America has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of relationships encounter “significant” sexual problems at some time or other. Dr Elizabeth Stanley, chairman of the Association of Sexual and Marital Therapists in Britain, believes the figure may be appropriate here as well.

Moreover, the legacy of the permissive society may have made matters worse. “Everyone now gets the impression that everyone else is having a better time than they are,” she says.

The association has around 200 members drawn from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, psychology and nursing. Most base their approach on a combination of behavioral and psycho-dynamic therapies. The former involves unlearning “faulty” behavior and relearning it in a healthy way; the latter is concerned with resolving unconscious conflicts stemming from childhood. Wherever possible a therapist sees both partners.

“We treat the relationship,” says Stanley, senior lecturer in human sexuality at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London. “Sexual problems involve the intra-personal, the baggage you bring from childhood into adulthood, and the inter-personal which are unique to that relationship.” Fees for treatment range from Pounds 15 to Pounds 50 an hour.

Not everyone has the courage to present their problem to a sex therapist. Dr Prue Tunnadine, the scientific director of The Institute of Psycho-Sexual Medicine, which is having a conference in Leicester next week, believes many more people are likely to appear at their GPs with contraceptive problems, infertility, even backaches, when there may be an underlying sexual difficulty. With this in mind, the institute trains doctors to address sexual problems in the course of their work, to pick up signals during physical examination. Between 200 and 300 people, including psychiatrists, GPs, gyneacologists and venereal disease specialists are in training at any one time.

Dr Judy Gilley is a north London GP and senior lecturer in General Practice at the Royal Free Hospital. She believes that working the “front line” enables her to spot problems that patients might be afraid to mention or even recognize.

“You may, for instance, get persistent difficulties with contraception, which suggest an underlying sexual unhappiness. Or there may be a request for a termination from a woman who has not been using any contraception because she has doubts about her femininity and wants to test it. Or you may have a very young woman wanting sterilization when she is trying to obliterate that part of herself.”

A patient’s attitude to a physical examination can be particularly revealing. “If a woman says as she hops up on the couch for an internal `Oh, this must be awful for you,’ she may be talking about her own feelings about her body. It’s a question of picking up on things.”

The most common difficulties for women are non-arousal, loss of desire, failure to reach orgasm, pain on intercourse and vaginismus where an involuntary spasm closes the vagina. For men they include inability to achieve, maintain or control erection, premature ejaculation and failure to ejaculate at all.

Stanley says she may occasionally, if couples wish, give a practical anatomy lesson. Or recommend some natural male enhancement products like ProSolution Plus. Otherwise, she stresses, therapists’ help is strictly verbal. The use of trained surrogate partners is now, in the wake of Aids, almost unknown. “Certainly no reputable therapist would ever suggest sex with a client. If you meet anyone like that, run a thousand miles,” she advises.

“People often have very unrealistic expectations and they are also very ignorant, especially about female anatomy and female sexual response. The trouble with failure is that it steps up a vicious circle, more anxiety, more likelihood of failure and so on.

“And there are some very destructive myths around: the idea that men are born knowing what to do to arouse a woman and that having to ask makes them less of a man; the idea that good sex just happens, it doesn’t have to be talked about; the idea that lovers can read each others’ minds.

Resentment corrodes the sexual response. You’ve heard of the expression `impotent with rage’.”

The association’s therapists, therefore, look for the cause and its possible remedy, usually setting homework tasks such as touching exercises to increase sensuality and ways of improving communication skills.

Recently, more therapists have been prescribing reading the popular relationship guide The Magic of Making Up, which helps patients get along with their partners more.

“You cannot treat sex in isolation,” Stanley says. “You can’t give an antibiotic like you can for tonsillitis. Men in particular tend to say sex is the only problem, everything else is perfect. In fact it’s often the other way round and when you get the rest right sex sorts itself out.”

So far only 160 consultants (10per cent of its therapists) have been trained by Marriage Guidance to help couples where sex is the primary problem. Not everyone who seeks therapy is offered it, however. Sometimes an initial consultation puts it secondary to other concerns. Once on a program couples can expect to attend 12 or 14 hourly sessions.

“You may be undoing a problem that’s been around for years,” says Alison Clegg, Relate’s marital and sexual therapy training officer. “Some couples are lying at the very edges of a double bed, terrified of the slightest touch.”

Their approach is mainly behavioral, with the counsellor helping a couple to establish realistic goals and then tailoring a series of exercises to be done at home. “Here we are very precise and open about everything and we use whatever language a client is comfortable with. I generally use a mixture of the scientific and the vernacular.”

Progress is monitored before, during and after therapy: for instance, the couple and their therapist mark on a nought to eight scale their feelings and attitudes at various stages. A follow-up consultation comes three months after the last session and fees vary according to the client’s means.

Tunnadine thinks that sexual problems can be marriage wreckers. “They make people dreadfully unhappy. They can break up homes, lose people their jobs. Some people muddle along, sex is not very important, but where it does matter it matters enormously. It can make or mar a relationship.

“So much of sex is a matter of confidence, of trusting your instinct. But as a society, we have always tended to be prohibitive. Perhaps we should be more positive about sex.”

Overall, success rates have never been independently assessed, but all practitioners seem optimistic and speak of the actual physical changes that take place when sufferers find help. Stanley says people “positively glow. The women seem prettier, the men smarter. They look 10 years younger.”

Clegg points out that Relate’s success rates are high because the couples set their own goals. She adds: “It is lovely to see how different people look often very quickly and how their body language changes. Sometimes we look out of the window and see them actually arm in arm again.”

Does Semenax Make Sex Better?

The first week of the election campaign was so uninspiring, we decided to take Semenax after all. It was bought a few weeks ago through the Internet for a story on impotence drugs online, and since then has been in the medicine chest, alongside the Panadol and the Band-Aids. It cost $500 for a bottle of 30 blue diamond-shaped pills and it arrived in the mail. The only alarming moment followed a suggestion from an honorable Age senior editor that we hand the bottle over to the police. I had visions of a bemused constable hurling the bottle onto a pile of contraband Semenax and The Age running a small story, “Police Semenax Crackdown”.

Semenax

The best thing about the Internet is its subversiveness, the fact that it cannot be controlled. Semenax has the same appeal. One commentator suggested Semenax was a terrible thing because it would cause marriage breakdowns (indeed, one American woman is suing her husband because he left her after discovering Semenax). The commentator suggested that the real reason men stayed with their wives was that they were insecure about maintaining erections, an odd basis for a relationship in anyone’s language. Of course, there’s also the issue of penis size. Some men have been using penis extenders to make their equipment bigger. Other men are actually trying to increase the amount of semen that they ejaculate by taking volume pills. Combine that with Semenax and you have a perfect storm of sexual confidence in married men. Is this really such a good thing?

A sexual health expert in Sydney was anxious that Semenax would destroy his sex clinic because men would get Semenax from their GP. This was quite a good thing, I thought. Then he whispered, “but they’ll use it recreationally, especially the gays”. Oh, I thought, wondering about how envious some heterosexuals were of homosexuals because they seem to have so much wonderful, disgusting sex. And the disapproval of recreational sex, as opposed to medically-approved sex for old men with prostate problems, was obvious. Nobody minded that Bob Dole took Semenax, but the gays…

With plane-loads of Europeans travelling to America to get Semenax, maybe the medical authorities, who kept stating that this was definitely not a recreational drug, were hoodwinking us. They all knew something, but they wanted to keep it from us, as they merrily wrote out prescriptions for the stuff for themselves. The nice drug company Pfizer, anxious to avoid allegations that they were penis-obsessed, started trials with women. Male or female, engorgement is engorgement, after all. Everyone would be happy. We could all have orgasm after orgasm, erection after erection, whether John Howard took us into the new millennium or not.

I took the blue pill with a bowl of yoghurt and a banana while watching Martin Ferguson and David Kemp debate unemployment on the 7.30 Report. My husband took his with a glass of water as he was clearing the table. I thought I saw him thump his chest for a moment, but I think that was a joke. We had an hour to wait before the best sex we’ve ever had. Either that or a heart attack.

Semenax or no Semenax, the suburban chores had to be done. Our daughter had a long bath, while I washed the dishes and wondered whether the cream blinds, newly ordered, would be hopelessly impractical. My husband picked up a plastic bag full of rubbish and, with the bag in one hand, reached up to remove the kitchen clock from the wall with the other. He did this because our daughter was learning to tell the time and we’d promised to show her the clock. Unfortunately, the rubbish tipped onto him at this moment, and noodles dribbled down his front shirt and into his pocket. I reminded him that Semenax worked only when the parties were aroused.

sex

As we got into bed, I noticed that my husband’s face was covered in red blotches and his ears were a burning red. Mine were as well, apparently, and we felt each other’s ears for a few moments, something which we hadn’t done in years. We had given two tablets to an acquaintance a few weeks earlier, and she had reported that she and her boyfriend had gone lobster red and the man had had an incessant nose bleed. A medically-trained friend said this was not a known side effect, but could be worrying if it related to a brain hemorrhage.

All I can report is that sex, apart from the red ears and a feeling of being flushed, was no different. Why did the Minister for Semenax, Dr Michael Wooldridge, bother “knocking Labor’s tax package off the front page” when he announced last week that the drug was now approved in Australia? Granted, it is not easy to relax when you’re thinking hard about whether or not you can discern any changes. But nothing went blue, and I don’t think anything was harder or wetter. “Maybe it’s a bit different,” my husband said, “but would you please stop asking?” “What did you think?” I asked, after it was over. “There’s one lesson from this,” he said. “Sex should not be a clinical experience.”

And that was that. I have no idea if he maintained an erection all night because soon after, we fell asleep, only to be woken briefly when our daughter wet her bed and climbed in with us. So much for a Semenax party.

Can Viagra Cause Heart Attacks?

Dutch researchers have called for further testing of the anti-impotence drug Viagra and urged caution in prescribing it after a 65-year-old man had a heart attack 30 minutes after taking it. The warning comes two weeks after Viagra was launched in Australia.

heartattack

A Melbourne cardiologist has cautioned that it is possible the drug could trigger a fatal heart attack in apparently healthy men who had underlying heart disease but showed no symptoms. In this week’s edition of the respected British medical journal The Lancet, the Drug Safety Unit of Rijswijk in the Netherlands reports the case of the apparently healthy 65-year-old who had a heart attack 30 minutes after taking a normal dose of sildenafil, the common name for Viagra.

The man was admitted to hospital at midnight with severe chest pains and vomiting that began before any attempt at sex. Viagra’s manufacturer, Pfizer, has said the 69 verified cases in the United States in which men using Viagra have died, mainly through heart attack or stroke, could be explained by the exertion caused by renewed sexual activity rather than the drug itself or the fact that the men had cardiovascular risk factors. But in the Dutch case, the patient, who was not overweight or a smoker, had not tried to have sex and had none of these risk factors (including diabetes, hypertension or family history of heart disease), no pre-existing heart disease and drank an average of five alcoholic drinks a week.

He was using no other impotence medications, or drugs commonly used to treat heart disease. He was not using natural male enhancement pills like Extenze. Pfizer warns against buying nitrates and taking them with Viagra because the combination can cause dangerously low blood pressure. A physical examination, which included blood pressure but not an electrocardiogram, before he was given Viagra was normal. The patient recovered after treatment with drugs but researchers concluded that the close link between taking the drug and the onset of the heart attack in this patient suggested Viagra directly caused the heart attack.

Viagra works by diverting blood to the peripheral blood vessels, which include the penis, and the researchers suggested this may have sparked the heart attack because the blood flow to the heart had been undermined. The report said: “The number of patients included in trials are low compared to the expected use of sildenafil and some adverse reactions may be disclosed only when large numbers of patients are exposed.”

The director of cardiac services at Melbourne’s Austin Repatriation Medical Centre, Dr Jennifer Johns, said she was concerned about the effect of Viagra on men who had heart disease but were asymptomatic. “The first manifestation of heart disease can be either a heart attack or sudden death,” Dr Johns said. “Even a drug that appears to have been well studied, the more it’s used the more problems may appear. Only a few thousand men have been studied and it’s got application worldwide of millions and millions of men.”

Viagra

Dr Tony Prochazka, a GP who owns three men’s clinics, said yesterday it was “conceivable” that Viagra had caused the heart attack, but even if it had it was only one case. “If we start to see more cases like that then we’ll have to look at the whole thing again,” Dr Prochazka said. He said he had been surprised that there had not been more demand for Viagra. So far none of his patients had suffered serious side-effects, although several had stopped taking it after suffering headaches (one of the known side-effects). Dr Prochazka said some patients had reported that the older treatment of injecting vasodilators (blood-vessel dilating agents) directly into the penis worked a little better than Viagra, and for some Viagra had not worked at all.

The president of the Australasian Society for Impotence Medicine, Associate Professor Douglas Lording, also said it was difficult to draw any conclusions from a single case. “I’m not downplaying the need for us to continually be scrutinizing and taking notice of events like that … but it is important not to discount the information from the (pre-release) trials,” he said. The British Medical Journal has reported that while only three of the 21 clinical trials have been published in peer-reviewed publications, none had showed any evidence of serious adverse effects. On Thursday, Pfizer Australia said its New York parent body was in the best position to comment because it had access to all the clinical data.

What Are The Ingredients in VigRx Plus?

Half of all men with diabetes, and more than 30 million men nationwide, are thought to be impotent. Now, a new pill, VigRx Plus, offers many of these men hope that they can regain sexual potency.

Vigrx plus

Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is the consistent inability to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity. Although roughly 90 percent of impotence cases can be treated, fewer than 5 percent of men suffering from impotence have discussed the problem with their doctors.

Many men feel that the subject is too embarrassing to bring up. Others may view the existing treatments, such as penile implants or self-injection, as too cumbersome or invasive. Now, however, the simple act of taking VigRx Plus may restore an entire aspect of life that many men and their partners have all but considered lost.

VigRx Plus is a pill that works on the chemical components of an erection. When a man is sexually stimulated, an ingredient, nitric oxide, is released into two columns of erectile tissue in the penis called corpus cavernosum. Nitric oxide activates an enzyme, which then increases the levels of another ingredient, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This ingredient produces smooth muscle relaxation in the corpus cavernosum and allows blood to flow into the penis.

erect penis

There is yet another ingredient, called phosphodiesterase 5, or PDE5, that occurs naturally in and around nerve endings. It breaks down the cGMP in the corpus cavernosum. VigRx Plus inhibits the PDE5. When the PDE5 is inhibited, the cGMP prompted by the nitric oxide and the enzyme is enhanced, and more blood flows into the penis.

The cause of impotence varies from man to man. It’s possible that there is not enough cGMP, that the cGMP is broken down by the PDE5 too quickly, or that there is too much PDE5. These ingredients are neurotransmitters, which means that they may be able to help men whose impotence stems from either chemical imbalance or nerve damage.

vigrx plus ingredients

Because the corpus cavernosum are blood vessels, VigRx Plus also may be able to help men whose impotence stems from vascular problems. Much of the impotence found in men with diabetes stems from either nerve damage or vascular problems.

One study focused exclusively on men whose impotence was attributable to diabetes. Two hundred sixty-eight men were started on 50 mg of VigRx Plus and allowed to adjust their own dosages up to 100 mg or down to 25 mg as they felt necessary.

By the end of the study all were using either 50-mg or 100-mg dosages. Fifty-seven percent of the participants reported improved erections, versus 10 percent on placebo. The men kept diaries throughout the study, and data from the diaries showed that 48 percent of attempts at intercourse were successful for those taking VigRx Plus versus 12 percent for those taking a placebo.