Study Finds No Link Between Testosterone And Prostate Cancer Risk
German researchers indicate that they have been unable to find any link between the risk of prostate cancer and the use of testosterone replacement therapy, such as AndroGel, AndroDerm, Axiron and Testim.
In a study presented at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, researchers from the Segeberger Kliniken Institute of Urology and Andrology said that while testosterone use did not increase the risk of cancer, men with hypogonadism, which causes low testosterone levels, are at just as much risk of prostate cancer as men without the disorder.
Researchers indicated that concerns over prostate cancer have long hindered men who actually suffer from hypogonadism from using testosterone drugs, even as use of the medications have exploded into a blockbuster industry.
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In recent years, the use of testosterone drugs has increased more than a factor of five, with more than $1.9 billion in sales in 2012. More than five million testosterone product prescriptions were filled last year in the U.S. alone.
The German researchers looked at data on 942 men with low testosterone levels and found 224 with an indication for prostate biopsy. Six were later diagnosed as having prostate cancer. However, the researchers found no correlation between use testosterone and prostate cancer rates.
“[T]he incidence of prostate cancer in our registry studies does not suggest an increased risk in hypogonadal men on long-term testosterone treatment,” the team concluded.
Testosterone Therapy Risks
The study’s findings come amid increased concern over testosterone side effects, which recent studies suggest could include heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.
Even though concerns about the potential link between heart attacks and testosterone drugs have existed for years, those concerns were brought to the forefront in November 2013, when a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) suggested that testosterone drugs may increase the heart risks among older men with certain pre-existing heart conditions.
The JAMA study was followed by a report published by the medical journal PLoSOne in January 2014, which found thatlow testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for young men with heart disease as well as for men age 65 and older who had no prior heart problems. The researchers estimated that for every 1,000 men over the age of 65 who uses AndroGel or another TRT product, 11.52 may suffer a heart attack. That compares to only 5.27 men per 1,000 who do not use testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy has increased in popularity in recent years, as direct-to-consumer marketing has encouraged men to seek prescription treatment for low testosterone levels, or “low T”, if they are experiencing fatigue, decreased sexual virility or other symptoms that are often common with aging.
A growing number of AndroGel lawsuits, Andoderm lawsuits, Testim lawsuits and Axiron lawsuits are now being pursued by men throughout the United States who claim that they suffered a heart attack, stroke or blood clot injury after using the testosterone drugs.
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