A few weeks back, this column looked into the plight of older women who had to opt for abortions when they believed they wouldn’t be able to cope with looking after an additional child. Christopher, 38, an analyst for a consultancy firm and a male reader wondered why male views weren’t considered in the said write-up; afterall, it takes two to get pregnant. His views: ‘’Abortion is seen as an almost entirely female issue.
However, it affects men too. I met Rose, a dental assistant eight years ago and fell for her instantly. As we were in our late 20s, we talked early on about what might happen if she accidentally became pregnant and both of us agreed we would want to keep the baby. Although I never dreamt it would happen as she was on the pill, I thought I knew where we stood.
“Then a couple of months into our relationship, Rose rang to say she’d had a dizzy spell and felt nauseous. I suggested she take a pregnancy test. I hadn’t been looking to become a father but would want to make it work. So when she rang me back to announce she was pregnant, her next words shocked me. ‘I’ve decided to have an abortion,’ she said simply, ‘I don’t want this baby and it’s my choice to make.’ Over the next few
weeks, we talked a lot. I felt powerless – all I could do was listen to
Rose’s reasons and try desperately to show her we could make things work. I even offered-to raise the child alone. My mum had constantly been on my back to give her grandchildren as I’m her only child. She would have gladly helped to look after the baby. But all my pleas fell on deaf ears. Ultimately, having an abortion was Rose’s right – I had no say in the matter. Afterall, it was her body.
“Sadly, about a month after hearing the news, the pregnancy was over – and so was our relationship. I felt angry with myself that I hadn’t been able to change her mind, and a sense of rejection that I wasn’t good enough for her. I also felt a deep sense of grief and loss that has never really left me. A year after the abortion, I met my current wife, and today we have a gorgeous two-year-old son and another child due any time soon.
“Being a dad is everything I’d imagined it would be, but while I feel incredibly lucky, still at times I can’t help but look into my son’s eyes and wonder what his brother or sister might have been like. My story is not a unique one. Men and women both have a role to play in creating life and bearing responsibility when a pregnancy continues, yet women alone decide whether or not to end it. To me that seems unfair. I just wish there was more recognition that abortion can change men’s lives too .. “
New Prostate Treatment Gives Sufferers Two More Years
MEN with incurable prostate cancer live two years longer if given chemotherapy at the same time as the standard hormone treatment, according to a major trial. Presently, chemotherapy is only offered to men if the hormone treatment isn’t slowing the cancer’s spread and many
choose not to have it at all due to the side-effects. But researchers say their findings are so strong that a form of chemotherapy called docetaxel should be routinely given to men as soon as they are diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer.
There are 41,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the UK each year and the disease is responsible for a fifth of all types of cancer in men. This includes 10 to 15 per cent which are classified as aggressive tumours and
are very difficult to treat as they spread so quickly. The study by
researchers at Cardiff and Warwick University is ongoing and involves
6,500 British men with advanced prostate cancer. On average, these men live for between four and five years after being diagnosed with advanced ‘metastatic’ prostate cancer, which means it has spread to the bones or other organs. But early findings from the trial presented a few months
ago showed that men lived for an extra 22 months on average if given chemotherapy at the same time as the standard hormone therapy. Professor Ma1colm Mason of Cardiff University said: ‘The 22 months is a lot of extra time for these men with an incurable disease.
In prostate cancer, chemotherapy has been used at a much more advanced stage of the illness for some years – now we know that this chemotherapy should be added earlier, in fact as soon as hormone therapy starts.’ The early results also show that men with aggressive tumours which haven’t yet spread also survive longer if given chemotherapy. Many are still alive and the researchers believe this treatment could enable them to live at least an extra five to six years, if not longer. Docetaxel is cheap compared to most cancer treatments.
Dr. lain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘The findings of this trial are potentially game-changing – we can’t wait to see the full results. Chemotherapy is currently one of the last resort treatments for advanced prostate cancer. If it is shown to have a much greater impact on survival when prescribed earlier and alongside hormone therapy, that’s incredibly exciting.’ Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: ‘Chemotherapy isn’t suitable for everyone, but all men (with prostate cancer )who are well enough should be offered this treatment combination. ‘
The virgin trap! (Humour)
A young woman goes to see the doctor to ask his advice on a very sensitive matter. “I’m getting married on Saturday,” the distraught young lady cries, “and my husband is convinced I’m a virgin. What he doesn’t know is that I lost my virginity years ago. Is there any way I can convince him that I am still a chaste?” ‘’Medically no,” the doctor replies.
“But I do have a suggestion which may help. On your wedding night, when you’re getting ready for bed, slide an elastic band around your thigh.
When your husband enters you, simply twang the band with your fingers
and tell your husband the sound is your hymen snapping.”
On the big day, the newly weds go up to their honeymoon suite. The bride goes into the bathroom and slips the elastic band around her thigh.
The couple then get down to some serious married sex. Just as her husband enters her, the bride snaps the band and moans with what she thinks is a mixture of ecstasy and pain. “What the hell was that?” her husband cries. “Oooh,” the woman moans. “That must have been my virginity snapping, honey.” “Well,” shouts her husband, “snap it back again. It’s caught round my tackler!”