More evidence has emerged that androgen deprivation therapy — a common hormone therapy treatment for those diagnosed with prostate cancer — increases cardiovascular risks for patients.
A Deeper Look Into The Connection
A new research study out of Taiwan, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found what looks like startling news: that using a hormone therapy treatment known as androgen deprivation therapy, one common for treating prostate cancer, raises the risk of heart disease in patients treated in this manner. In fact, scientists say that androgen deprivation therapy may increase patients’ risk of heart disease by as much as 72 percent, according to their research.
Using data gathered from 2005’s Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, the researchers pored over the records of more than 1200 prostate cancer patients who received androgen deprivation therapy, comparing those records to a further 1806 patients who were not treated with the hormone therapy. The results were clear, with the figures emerging after tracking all patients for just one year post-treatment.
Reinforcing What We Already Know
Truth be told, this is not the first time that hormone therapy possibly does more harm than good when it comes to keeping men healthy. There has been a number of different research studies conducted in the past into the side effects of androgen deprivation therapy, and this research has found evidence of an increased risk of heart disease. Independent studies have made the same or even similar findings, and the new research results offer a strong confirmation to what we already know: one of the most common side effects of this type of hormone therapy can lead to cardiovascular issues.
This doesn’t mean that androgen deprivation therapy isn’t necessarily a good idea, especially in cases of aggressive tumor growth. Patients and doctors alike need to weigh the risks involved in any cancer treatment, and it’s an unfortunate fact that all cancer treatments have some associated risk — much in the way chemotherapy and radiation therapy are notorious for causing nausea and hair loss. Most urologists and oncologists are united in believing that androgen deprivation therapy is better reserved for moderate to aggressive prostate cancers because of these risks, relegating more appropriate treatment options for more manageable prostate health problems.