If a man obtains testosterone replacement therapy, does it increase their likelihood to develop Prostate Cancer?
For many years doctors were trained and believed that if a man obtained testosterone replacement therapy, it would lead to an increase in the size of their prostate gland and would increase the likelihood that they would develop Prostate Cancer.
Today many doctors are beginning to question that conclusion. Dr. Keith Roach has recently written in his column about an 82-year-old man who wrote him to ask about his prostate cancer and the treatment he had received for it. He had obtained what is called Brachytherapy, which is the implantation of radiation “seeds” or “pellets” in the prostate. The “seeds” of radioactive materials attack and kill the cancer cells when the treatment works as designed. The man then wrote to Dr. Roach asking him about the fact that since his cure from cancer he has experience fatigue at levels he never had experienced prior to getting cancer. He wonders if the treatment which cured the cancer led to the problem with fatigue and if replacing his testosterone would help fight off the fatigue and the chronic exhaustion he had been experiencing.
Dr. Roach is very careful to tell him that he can’t make recommendations that challenge the decisions of his physician because he does not have access to the health data of the man and is not his doctor. But Dr. Roach goes on to say that there are no well-done studies looking at people with a history of prostate cancer being treated with testosterone. At this point most of the stories that you read are anecdotal. Doctors are using their personal knowledge and experience to make treatment decisions regarding testosterone replacement after cancer treatment for prostate cancer.
There are some small-scale research papers that look at around 200 men who had prostate cancer and are in remission. Only one of those got their prostate cancer back. All of these men received testosterone replacement therapy after their cancer was in remission. Of them, 199 had not had re-emergence of prostate cancer. Only one in 200 had their cancer return.
Doctors will argue that these data may not be statistically significant, so there is no reliable externa determinant of whether or not you should try this therapy. However, you and your doctor need to discuss this treatment together and see if it is a thing you want to or should try. Remember it is important that you are an educated consumer of your own health care decisions. You need to be informed and you need to be talking with a physician who talks with you regarding your lifestyle, your health concerns and your goals for living a healthy life.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.