Docs take New Look at Testosterone Replacement for Cancer Patients

Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in this country. Historically, testosterone was a hormone thought to cause a progression of dormant prostate cancer in some men. So for men with low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy was not advised.

“Giving testosterone is contraindicated in patients with prostate cancer,” said Dr. Stanton Honig, Associate Clinical Professor of Urology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

But new evidence recently presented at an international urology conference supports the use of testosterone replacement therapy for prostate cancer patients.

“We’ve realized now that there’s a lot of patients who have prostate cancer who have low testosterone … and they have loss of libido and things like that and their quality of life is actually quite poor. Many of these patients are now being treated and the question is, can we give testosterone to patients who have prostate cancer?,” Honig said.

In some cases, Honig says, the answer is yes.

“Obviously, prostate cancer is a disease that you have to follow over five, 10, 15 years, so this is purely early preliminary data.  But it’s kind of changing the way we’re looking at the role of testosterone and how it affects the prostate and specifically prostate cancer,” Honig said.

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