News Flash > Cardiovascular Health


Prostate Cancer Therapy Boosts Risk of Fractures, Heart Disease

Reported April 28, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Prostate cancer patients who take drugs to decrease their testosterone levels may be increasing their risk of developing bone- and heart-related side effects, but those risks are still relatively low, according to a new study.

Doctors say androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is an important and effective treatment option for many men with prostate cancer, but it can cause a variety of side effects, including skeletal and cardiovascular complications, sexual dysfunction, periodontal disease and mood disorders.

Texas researchers analyzed previous studies on the treatment's side effects to assess the risks for men. They discovered that although men treated with ADT had an increased risk of bone fractures and heart-related death, the absolute risk for both was still low.




For bone fractures, there was a 23 percent increased risk compared to prostate cancer patients who did not undergo the treatment, and the absolute risk of fracture among ADT-exposed men was still only 7.2 per 100 person years, researchers said.

For heart-related death, researchers found the increased risk among the ADT men was 17 percent higher compared to other prostate cancer patients, but that only translated to an additional one-to-two deaths per 1,000 men who received ADT.

Since some patients benefit immensely from this treatment over other options, the researchers said physicians should consider each patient's overall health and prostate cancer status when weighing treatment options.

SOURCE: CANCER, published online on April 27, 2009