Tags: Prostate Health | low-T drugs | enlarged prostate

Can Low-T Drugs Cause Enlarged Prostate?

By    |   Thursday, 27 August 2015 01:50 PM

Low-T drugs, or testosterone prescribed for men with low levels of the male hormone, may in some cases cause an enlarged prostate, stimulating the tissue in the gland to grow.

According to Everyday Health, those men who suffer from benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) should not take testosterone if their have urinary tract problems because "testosterone makes your prostate grow, which can increase symptoms of benign prostate disease."

While some have touted testosterone therapy as a fountain of youth, enhancing energy and sex drive, there are many risks associated with taking the hormone.

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"Testosterone therapy does not cause prostate cancer, but it can make prostate cancer grow," Dr. Bruce Gilbert, an adjunct clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said, according to Everyday Health. "It might be like adding flame to the fire."

Testosterone is produced in the testicles and adrenal glands in men. It gets into prostate cells through the bloodstream. There it converts through the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), according to Livestrong.

As men age, the DHT causes the prostate to grow around the urethra, making it hard to urinate and increasing the need to go.

There are benign and cancerous tumors that can grow in the prostate and each reacts differently to testosterone. "Not all prostate growths are influenced by testosterone, but many are," Livestrong said.

In 2006, WebMD reported that short-term testosterone replacement therapy, given to men who are older to heighten low levels of the hormone, "has little effect on the prostate gland."

"The prostate risks to men undergoing TRT may not be as great as once believed, especially if the results of the pretreatment biopsy are negative," wrote Dr. Leonard Marks of the UCLA School of Medicine, in a small study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, WebMD said.

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In 2015, a new study found that testosterone injections helped to slow the spread of untreatable prostate cancer tumors, Science magazine reported.

Researchers said more study must be done to determine if indeed those injections are helpful but they called the new research findings promising. Previously, some were concerned that testosterone treatments might have the opposite effect and increase tumors.

“There’s potentially a substantial number of patients for whom this treatment is not harmful but is possibly beneficial,” Charles Ryan, a cancer endocrinology researcher and physician at the University of California, San Francisco, told Science magazine.

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Low-T drugs, or testosterone prescribed for men with low levels of the male hormone, may in some cases cause an enlarged prostate, stimulating the tissue in the gland to grow.
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Thursday, 27 August 2015 01:50 PM
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