Testosterone Replacement Therapy Doesn't Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer
An extensive study into prostate cancer has relieved fears that testosterone replacement therapy might lead to an increase in the risk of prostate cancer.
The research was performed by investigators at NYU Langone Medical center. It constituted an in-depth analysis of more than a quarter-million medical records of men (mostly white) in Sweden, with the findings of the research presented at the annual American Urological Association meeting in San Diego, Calif.
The authors of the research determined that the men who undertook testosterone replacement therapies for more than a year manifested no increase in the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, the risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer even decreased by a noticeable margin.
The authors do not discourage medical experts from keeping an eye out for prostate cancer risk factors among men taking testosterone therapy. Elements like the age (over 40) and African-American ancestry matter. However, they have encouraged physicians to none the less prescribe appropriate testosterone replacement therapies where it proves necessary without fear of the risk of prostate cancer increasing.
According to Stacy Loeb, an NYU Langone urologist and lead study investigator, a lot of concern emanates from the fact that standard prostate cancer therapies that are purposed to prevent the growth of tumors include drugs that reduce male hormones in the body.
However, these concerns are not a particularly potent issue among men with age-related testosterone problems especially if they use testosterone replacement therapies appropriately.
The use of testosterone therapy has skyrocketed in the last ten years, popularized by drug industry marketing strategies that have worked to ease fears about the long-term risks of testosterone therapy.
Of the 38,000 men whose records were analyzed in the study and who developed prostate cancer between 2009 and 2012, nearly 300 men had been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy before being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
According to Loeb, men must endeavor to keep their testosterone levels balanced; individuals whose testosterone levels fall below 350 nanograms per deciliter are encouraged to consult a medical expert who can advise them on whether they should pursue testosterone therapy.
Loeb’s study utilized data from the National Prostrate Cancer Register as well as the Prescribed Drug Register in Sweden. There are very few countries in the world that collect detailed information on cancer and medication prescriptions like Sweden, whose data sets encompass their entire population.
Loeb intends to further investigate the link between low testosterone levels and aggressive prostate cancer.