Scientists have discovered a link between androgen deprivation therapy and an overactive bladder.
ADT Might Make You Pee
Androgen deprivation therapy, according to a new research study, has a much higher association with men developing overactive bladder. How much higher an association is crystal clear, as scientists found that healthy men have a 98% reduced risk of being diagnosed with overactive bladder when compared to men with a prostate cancer diagnosis being treated by ADT.
In fact, even in men with prostate issues, ADT was found to be particularly highly associated with overactive bladder. The research study also compared overactive bladder rates between prostate cancer patients treated with ADT and patients diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), with the latter being treated with alpha blockers; in this case, the BPH patients still had a 30% reduced risk of developing overactive bladder, even in light of urological problems that BPH can sometimes cause.
You Can Have One Without the Other
There’s nothing in the research that says you’re guaranteed to develop an overactive bladder if you do receive a hormone therapy like ADT for prostate cancer. Not only that, but you can suffer from overactive bladder without even being diagnosed with prostate cancer. In other words, you can have one without the other, though it is common to have urological complications when it comes to prostate issues.
That being said, documenting the high crossover rate between ADT and overactive bladder means that doctors can help prepare patients for the possibility that they’ll develop overactive bladder as a result of treating their prostate cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy remains a highly effective treatment method for low to moderate-risk prostate tumors and is likely to continue to be.
Better Than Some Other Outcomes
Let’s be honest — nobody likes the idea of having to deal with an overactive bladder on top of being treated with ADT for a prostate tumor. At the same time, though, overactive bladder problems are better than other outcomes associated with some prostate cancer treatments; even a side-effect like overactive bladder is much preferable than those possible with other treatments, like radiation.