Tags: Prostate | Treatment | May | Shorten | Lives

Prostate Treatment May Shorten Lives

Tuesday, 12 June 2007 12:00 AM

A new study indicates that shutting down the body's production of androgen hormones to slow prostate tumor growth may shorten the lives of men who are at high risk of developing heart disease by two and a half years.

The study grew out of previous research of androgen suppression by Dr. Anthony D'Amico of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "I observed that there were a few men receiving treatment who died quickly of a heart attack," he said.

Dr. D'Amico told the Baltimore Sun that while the drugs used to suppress androgen (male) hormones slow or stop the growth of prostate tumors, they cause anemia, weight gain, and insulin resistance, which increases the risk of a heart attack.

Dr. D'Amico studied data from 1,372 victims of prostate cancer. About half received only radiation, while half received both radiation and hormone therapy. The men were followed for five years. Both groups suffered an equal number of heart attacks, but older men who received the hormone suppression therapy died from heart attacks about two and a half years earlier.

The attacks came "within the first six months to two years after treatment," said Dr. D'Amico. "There wasn't an increased number of heart attacks; it is just that they occurred sooner."

Doctors aren't recommending that patients quit hormone therapy, but that they are screened for cardiovascular risk. "Hormonal therapy in men who need it is lifesaving," said D'Amico. But, he said, positive outcomes "could be even higher if we screen the appropriate men for coronary risk factors."

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A new study indicates that shutting down the body's production of androgen hormones to slow prostate tumor growth may shorten the lives of men who are at high risk of developing heart disease by two and a half years. The study grew out of previous research of androgen...
Prostate,Treatment,May,Shorten,Lives
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2007-00-12
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 12:00 AM
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