April 13, 2010

Beware of Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:00 am by keepyourhearthealthy

A study published in August 2009 showed that men with a history of Coronary Artery Disease were twice as likely to die when given hormone therapy for prostate cancer.  Several other studies in the past have noted that low testosterone can increase the risk for heart disease.  In the course of treating prostate cancer, hormones (as part of Androgen Deprivation Therapy) are frequently given to counteract testosterone.  In other words, they try to make the testosterone as low as possible to help shrink the prostate cancer.  Without testosterone, apparently there is a higher risk of death for men who already have heart disease.  Some of the most common names for hormone therapy are: leuprolide (Lupron, Viadur, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex), triptorelin (Trelstar), and histrelin (Vantas).

The study did not find any specific increase in death for patients without known heart disease who were also receiving hormone treatments for prostate cancer.   However, 3 very large organizations are thinking there is a risk regardless of previous heart attack or heart failure.  The American Heart Association (AHA), American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Urological Association(AUA)–just released a joint statement last month stating that there might be a “relationship” between androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer and cardiovascular risk.

This does not mean that hormone therapy should be avoided completely in prostate cancer.  However, if you have heart disease and have also recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you and your oncologist should seriously consider all other treatments before jumping straight into hormone therapy.

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