Men on hormone-lowering therapy may require close monitoring, researchers say,,
MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Though proven effective, treating prostate cancer with the testosterone-lowering treatment known as androgen deprivation therapy may raise men's risk for developing bone fractures and fatal cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests.
The likelihood of developing either side effect remains low, the researchers noted. But the study shines fresh light on the question of how best to weigh the potential benefits of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) against the potentially serious complications that can ensue.
"It is important to point out that these adverse outcomes due to ADT are all preventable, so it's up to a patient's doctor to be vigilant of changes in either cardiovascular or skeletal health that might develop as a result of the therapy," said the study's lead author, Lockwood Taylor, a doctoral candidate in the division of epidemiology and disease control at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
The findings will appear in the June 1 issue of Cancer.
To assess side effects from ADT, Taylor and his colleagues reviewed 14 studies from 1966 to 2008 that focused on skeletal and cardiovascular side effects linked to ADT among men battling prostate cancer.
They found that ADT boosted the risk for overall fracture by 23 percent relative to men with prostate cancer not undergoing treatment.
Similarly, the chances of dying from heart disease were 17 percent higher among men with cancer on ADT than those not on ADT.
They also pointed to two large studies that had indicated a substantial increase in the risk for developing diabetes among ADT patients.
"It would certainly be important to point out that, although we observed some statistically significant increases in the relative risk for these side effects, the absolute risks a
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