Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Linked To Dementia
Univ. Of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study shows an association between ADT and developing Alzheimer’s
For years, there has been a trend to not treat prostate cancer when it is small and localized within the prostate capsule. The rationale for his has been that many cancers grow slowly and may never spread to other areas of a man’s body. This has been called, “Watchful Waiting” or “Active Surveillance.”
In addition, there has also been a tendency to not even screen for prostate cancer with annual examinations and the PSA blood test.
The end result of both not treating and not screening has been an alarming increase in the development of locally advanced cancer and metastatic disease. This means that many men now have cancer that has grown through the capsule (the surrounding shell) of the prostate or spread to bones or soft tissues in other parts of the body.
The best way to control cancer outside of the prostate is with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Using pills or injections, a man’s testosterone production is reduced by 70% to 100%. This can starve prostate cancer cells for many years and keep them from growing further.
The problem with this approach is that there are side effects from ADT. Common ones that have been known about for decades include osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, development of diabetes mellitus, low libido, loss of erections and not having any energy.
Now, a new study published by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows an association between ADT and developing Alzheimer’s. This was a large study that analyzed 50,000 patients worldwide. The lead author of the study said there is evidence of a “direct connection.”
The reason for developing dementia is that testosterone has a crucial role in the development and maintenance of nerve cells in the brain. The longer a person receives hormone depleting therapy the more likely brain function can deteriorate.
This is another example of the growing body of scientific data that argues against having a casual approach to prostate cancer treatment. With early diagnosis and definitive treatment, the side effects and complications of delayed therapy can be avoided.
This post was written by Western States HIFU