Testosterone Treatment May Not Pose Risk To Prostate Cancer Patients
The findings of new research suggest that testosterone replacement therapy may be safer than once believed for men with a history of prostate problems.
In a study published in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine on January 21, researchers from universities across the U.S. indicate that use of medications like AndroGel, AndroDerm, Testim and other androgen replacement medications do not appear to increase the risk of patients dying from prostate cancer.
Testosterone treatments have been increasingly prescribed in recent years to men who have trouble producing the hormone on their own, resulting in a condition known as hypogonadism, which can cause decreased strength, energy and sexual function.
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Warnings on testosterone replacement therapy currently indicate that use of the medications may pose a health risk for patients with enlarged prostates, or those who are suffering from prostate cancer. However, the findings of this new study raise questions about whether those warnings are necessary.
Researchers looked at data on nearly 150,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1992 through 2007, with about 1,181 of them receiving testosterone replacement therapy. Overall mortality was lower in the group receiving testosterone therapy than in those who did not receive it.
The study concluded that testosterone therapy is not associated with increased risk of cancer-specific mortality and called for more confirmative studies. If the findings can be confirmed, the researchers said testosterone treatment could be considered for men with a history of prostate cancer.
Testosterone Treatment Health Risks
The findings come amid increasing concerns about the potential side effects of testosterone therapy, including a potential increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and death that some men may face as a result of treatments.
In November 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that that veterans with heart problems faced an increased rate of cardiovascular problems from testosterone treatments. Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System reviewed data involving 8,700 veterans who underwent a coronary angiography and had low testosterone levels. Among the 1,223 men who were given testosterone therapy, including gels, patches or injections, the rate of death, heart attacks and strokes was 29% higher than the men who did not receive testosterone supplements.
Another study released earlier this month raised serious questions about the widespread use of AndroGel and other testosterone treatments in the United States, which have become a $2 billion industry. Research published in the current edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicates that many men in the United States are receiving prescriptions for testosterone gel, testosterone injections and testosterone patches when they have normal testosterone levels and may not need the replacement therapy.
Amid these findings, a number of men are now considering potential testosterone treatment lawsuits, alleging that the manufacturers provided false and misleading information for consumers and the medical community, withholding important safety information about the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from testosterone replacement therapy.
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GAugust 9, 2017 at 5:58 am
I started AndroGel, followed by injections when my testosterone was found to be 47 on a normal scale of 400-800. It was due to long-term opioid treatment for pain related to a terrible accident. My PSA was extremely low for years and years (i.e., .02 - .04. However, after beginning testosterone treatment, my PSA began to increase. When I reached 1.0, I went to an urology oncologist who told me [Show More]I started AndroGel, followed by injections when my testosterone was found to be 47 on a normal scale of 400-800. It was due to long-term opioid treatment for pain related to a terrible accident. My PSA was extremely low for years and years (i.e., .02 - .04. However, after beginning testosterone treatment, my PSA began to increase. When I reached 1.0, I went to an urology oncologist who told me my PSA was too low to consider cancer. The PSA continued to climb over 3 years until it was 2.5. Each .6 - .8 increment, I went to an oncologist and was told the same thing.... even though it raised .6 or .8, my PSA was way too low at my age for me to consider cancer. I was still frightened because I always felt pain from the prostate in my groin. But, they just ignored it. I finally went to the head of Urology Oncology at a top medical school and after having one of the most painful digital exams because the doctor was nothing less than aggressive in pushing to feel the prostate, he found and asymmetric, hardening on the left side, and a nodule. He requested to do a biopsy. Well, not only did they find cancer, but it was an extremely aggressive form of prostate cancer. They also found it in three sections (of twelve) and they said I needed to be offered my options by their leading surgeon and leading radiologist. But not in a month or two (as the only appointments were available, but immediately!!! Both the surgeon and the radiology oncologist believed that radiation was best due to my age (of 59). I was told that they needed a week to prepare all of the calculations. One week later, I was getting treatment....every day for the entire summer. WOW! But, 1 1/2 years later, I had received three 6-months apart PSA's with undetectable cancer cells. Now, my radiation oncologist, my endocrinologist and my urologist want me to go back on testosterone injections. They all believe that I need testosterone for multiple health reasons (bone strength, body strength, heart & stroke health, etc) yet they say that my PSA will rise again. They all want to monitor my PSA every 3 months and not let it go up too high (below 2.0). However, I'm scare to death since my last PSA was only 2.5 when they found what they said was extremely aggressive prostate cancer. I want to keep the number below 1.0 if I decide to take testosterone again.
JorgeOctober 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm
I used Testim at the age of 45, and a year later was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My prostate was removed and my life destroyed do to prostate cancer surgery side effect. Permanent sexual impotency and great penis size reduction.
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