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Keep reading and discover the latest research on testosterone’s benefits
A recent study finds testosterone replacement slows prostate cancer recurrence in low-risk patients
In the most momentous study so far undertaken, US researchers have found that testosterone replacement slows the return of prostate cancer in low-risk patients.
This finding may question the long-held theory of traditional hormonal prostate treatment. The conclusions were presented at the European Association of Urology congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Doctors have long regarded testosterone as a hormone which promotes prostate cancer. The 1941 work of Dr. Charles Huggins and Clarence Hodges won Huggins the 1966 Nobel Prize for Medicine, for reporting the dramatic impact of testosterone reduction on prostate cancer.
Since then, medicines which reduce levels of the hormone testosterone have become a standard option for many patients.
But the Huggins study has been shown to be severely flawed.
In the late 1990s to 2000s, doctors observed that although men on long term anti-testosterone treatments were not dying from prostate cancer, they were dying prematurely of cardiovascular disease.
It seemed that although anti-testosterone therapies were treating the prostate cancer, the deficient testosterone levels were significantly worsening a parade of metabolic dysfunctions: elevated blood sugar, diabetes, high cholesterol, mid-abdomen visceral fat, fatigue, weakened, shrinking muscles, etc.
Low testosterone also caused a loss of libido and sexual ability in many men on Low-T treatment. This led some doctors to propose testosterone treatment of some low-risk men after radiation or surgical treatment.
Beginning in 2008 a team of doctors from the University of California, Irvine, led by Professor Thomas Ahlering, began to carefully select patients for testosterone replacement after primary treatment of prostate cancer with robotic radical prostatectomy, in hopes of improving recovery of sexual function.
The team worked with 834 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. They treated 152 low-risk patients with no evidence of disease with testosterone replacement therapy.
After a median of 3.1 years following surgery, the patients were tested for biochemical recurrence of cancer, as indicated by measurement of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels.
They found that cancer had recurred in only approximately 5% of treated patients, whereas cancer had recurred in 15% of the patients who did not receive testosterone. Overall, after accounting for differences between the groups, they found nearly a three-fold reduction by three years.
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