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The Takeaway: Calculating Risks from Prostate Cancer Treatments, Pot Dispensaries and Obama's Jobs Plan

Prostate Cancer + Treatment = Sexual Dysfunction? Men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer face the potential of several serious side effects, including erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Doctors previously had no way of predicting an individual's risk of developing these side effects. But a new formula published in the Journal of the American Medical Association can help gauge a man's risk of erectile dysfunction based on his basic stats and whether treatment includes prostate surgery, external radiation or having radioactive 'seeds' implanted in the prostate.

Sexual function is one of the things that are most commonly affected by prostate cancer treatment," said. Dr. Martin G. Sanda, who heads the Prostate Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and led the new study, told Fox News.

In the study, 60 percent of men who underwent prostate surgery said they became impotent afterward, compared to 42 percent of those who received external radiation and 37 percent of those who went the radioactive seed route. But a man's chances of sexual problems varied a lot based on factors such as age, race, weight, prior sexual function and blood levels of prostate specific antigen. The researchers developed a few formulas that take all these things into account to calculate individual risk. The next step, said Sanda, is to make the formulas easily available, as a web tool and elsewhere, and to expand them to calculate other risks, such as incontinence.

Medical Marijuana = Less Crime? A Rand Corp. report on crime in Los Angeles  found less danger near medical marijuana dispensaries. The report also notes that police departments in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., also studied crime around dispensaries and found no evidence that they attracted crime.

What I would take away from it is maybe there should just be a little bit less fear about having dispensaries," said Mireille Jacobson, a health economist who was the lead researcher. "Hopefully, this injects a little bit of science into the discussion."

Payroll Tax Cuts = Bad News for Social Security?  Politico  writer Paul Goldman thinks so. Cutting the Social Security payroll tax a second time-a cornerstone of Obama's jobs plan that's mostly seen as a boon for the middle class and businesses-"threatens to open up a Pandora's box that Roosevelt intentionally kept shut when creating Social Security," Goldman writes.

The president has rightly tried to address this mess. But given the economy, he appears to see no other bipartisan option available - except again cutting the payroll tax and putting more IOU's into the Social Security Trust Fund. As a temporary measure, it is a legitimate policy response to the immediate economic problems. But is it really temporary?"

Want to know more about the jobs plan (and what it could mean for you)? We've got you covered.

Wednesday Quick Hits: More retirement savers are looking into annuities, Reuters reports. But is that a good thing? ... Michele Bachmann visits a meat-packing plant,  says the food industry is over-regulated ... The death toll from listeria-tainted cantaloupe is rising ... Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid says Democrats have mixed reactions to the President's jobs-creation plan (while major Senate Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Tim Kaine  are trying to avoid much comment) ... And a new study says people with depression are more likely to suffer a stroke.

See  "In the News"  for more on current events, entertainment and how it all relates to you.

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