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Friday, December 14th, 2018

Testosterone Replacement Therapy & Prostate Cancer Detection

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Researchers in the United Kingdom recently completed an updated audit of the prostate safety data from the UK Androgen Study (UKAS). This was a long-term multicenter investigation into the treatment of age-related testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) in men. The data was taken from a total of 1,365 men under treatment, with a mean age of 55 years (ranging from 28 to 87). The subjects were taking popular HRT medications including Testogel (transdermal testosterone), Restandol (oral testosterone undecanoate), mesterolone (Proviron), and testosterone pellet implants for up to 20 years. Fourteen cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed during the study, an average of 1 case every 212 treatment years. This was determined to be the same rate as expected for the general population.

Testosterone replacement therapy had no statistically significant effect on PSA levels or the likelihood of a positive cancer diagnosis in this study. The researchers here made an additional conclusion in this study, however. While hormone therapy did not influence the rate of cancer in these men, it did have a secondary benefit. By placing these men in the regular care of physicians, including periodic prostate examinations, detection of the disease was earlier than expected (mean 6.3 years). In all 14 cases, the cancers appeared to be localized and suitable for removal. The paper closes by suggesting that the monitoring that comes with male HRT may improve prostate cancer detection and treatment rates. This is worth considering whenever physicians and patients discuss the potential risks and benefits of HRT.

Source: J Sex Med 2012 Jun 6 [ePub]

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