Hormone treatment for prostate cancer
Prostatic cancers are the second most frequently diagnosed cancers in men (over 670,000 diagnosed annually worldwide), second only to lung cancers.
When cancers of the prostate gland have spread to surrounding tissues, advanced therapies include hormonal treatments, such as anti-androgens, testosterone agonist injections, or even surgically removing the testes.
Some of these hormonal therapies are even being tested in milder cases with lower stages of prostate cancer.
However, hormone treatment for prostate cancer may increase the risks of side effects, according to medical research.
A new study followed 30,642 Swedish men with advanced or metastatic prostatic cancers who received hormonal therapy between 1997 and 2005. They were followed for an average of three years.
Side effects of hormonal therapy
Compared to other cancer patients in Sweden, men receiving hormonal therapy (at least one of above therapies, but usually a combination of the two drug approaches) showed
Heart disease fatalities also showed increased risks, including
Different therapies, different risks
An in-depth analysis of hormone treatment for prostate cancer showed that
Removal of the testicles also showed risks elevated up to 7 times higher than anti-androgen therapies, suggesting a possible protective role of testosterone for heart disease (Van Hemelrijck, Mieke et al, presentation to ECCO, European Cancer Congress Berlin, September 2009).
The authors recommend that physicians monitor their patients closely and according to the types of endocrine treatments used.
Scientists are also working with natural products like EGCG from green tea .
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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