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Links Between Prostate Cancer Treatment, Periodontal Disease

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have found that men receiving hormone treatments for prostate cancer are much more likely to show// gum disease than men who do not receive hormone treatments for prostate cancer.

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer face a dizzying array of treatment options: radiation, seed radiation (brachytherapy), freezing (cryotherapy), conventional open surgery (radical prostatectomy), minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic radical prostatectomy), and, in advanced stages, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. At every stage, patients must answer a list of common questions ranging from what is a prostate to which is the best treatment for prostate cancer. Among the critical elements of their decision is evaluation of the experiences relayed in other patient stories.

In recent years, great strides have been made in prostate cancer treatment, especially for localized prostate cancer. However, men with advanced prostate cancer still face a complicated set of treatment decisions largely because treatments for advanced prostate cancer have remained only partly effective and associated with serious side effects.

Hormone treatment of prostate cancer can reduce pain from metastatic prostate cancer. However, especially since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, hormone treatment for prostate cancer has been applied also for men without metastatic prostate cancer, which means it has been in use for very long periods. Consequently, doctors are now seeing the long-term complications of prolonged hormone treatment of prostate cancer.

In this month's issue of the Journal of Urology, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine report that prostate cancer patients receiving ADT are three times as likely to show signs of periodontal, or gum disease, as patients who do not receive the therapy.

Says Arnon Krongrad, M
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