Usually, as soon as a man gets diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, drugs that help in lowering testosterone levels are offered for the purpose of treatment. This is because testosterone aggravates the growth of cancer. However, a recent major study has suggested that this method can potentially be accompanied by an undesired side effect of greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other forms of dementia.
According to the author of the study, Ravishankar Jayadevappa, their results have suggested that clinicians should work towards raising their awareness regarding potential long-run cognitive effects associated with hormone therapy. They should also discuss these threats with the patients to maintain transparency.
Jayadevappa is an associate professor of research in geriatrics at the Perelman Medicine School of Pennsylvania University in Philadelphia. As per an expert, this study has revealed concerning questions.
Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, who is a specialist in urology at New York City’s Hospital Lenox Hill, expressed equal fear of developing Alzheimer’s as cancer. She explained that a study pitting a debilitating medical condition against an equally horrifying another, brings about fear in the minds of patients.
However, as per Kavaler, this treatment, known as therapy of androgen-deprivation, is still a benchmark for major cases of cancer of the prostate. As a result, this new data would require patients as well as their physicians to make a tough decision.
In this new study, the group led by Jayadevappa retrospectively looked at data of National Institute of Cancer of U.S., on above 154,000 patients suffering from prostate cancer, whose disease was diagnosed in 1996-2003. Nearly 62,000 of them were given therapy of hormone depletion, within 2 years of being diagnosed. On the other hand, nearly 92,000 patients did not receive this therapy. Out of these people, 13% men having received therapy eventually developed Alzheimer’s over the next 8 years.