The increased use of testosterone replacement therapy has resulted in numerous studies looking into the safety of testosterone supplementation. Recent studies have brought to light concerning cardiovascular risks. For example, one study has found that men who used testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die after three years of use. Another study found that men had a significant increased risk of heart attack and stroke in the first 90 days of use.
A recent study has looked at whether testosterone treatment can increase prostate cancer risk. The reasoning is that standard therapy for prostate cancer includes drugs that reduce testosterone levels in an effort to reduce tumor growth. Recent analyses have shown no increased reports of prostate cancer in men on testosterone therapy, but the studies have had significant limitations including small sample size.
The latest study involved data from 38,570 men with prostate cancer who were diagnosed with the disease between 2009 and 2012, and recovered. Among these men, 284 had been prescribed testosterone before their prostate cancer diagnosis. These men were compared to 192,838 men who did not have prostate cancer, 1,378 of whom had undergone testosterone therapy.
Researchers noted no significant association between testosterone use and overall prostate cancer risk. However, they did find a higher incidence of low-risk prostate cancer in men who had just started testosterone treatment. They also found a lower risk for aggressive prostate cancer among men who had taken testosterone for a year or longer.
“Based on our findings, physicians should still be watching for prostate cancer risk factors – such as being over the age of 40, having African-American ancestry, or having a family history of the disease – in men taking testosterone therapy,” said Stacy Loeb, MD, MSc, the lead investigator and urologist at Langone.
Source: Prostate Cancer News Today