Researchers have reported that androgen deprivation therapy – a common treatment for prostate cancer patients – is most likely to double the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. This is according to research findings that were recently reported by the National Cancer Institute. The study investigated the medical records of men with prostate cancer and although the findings were not very conclusive, it points out to some gray areas where oncologists will need to take a closer look. “The study doesn’t tell us quite clearly whether or not these drugs may cause Alzheimer disease” said Dr. Otis Brawley from the American Cancer Society. He added that the findings of the study are enough to justify the need for further studies on the subject.
The study, which covered more than 16,000 prostate cancer patients, indicated that those who received any type of androgen deprivation therapy were twice most likely to develop Alzheimer’s over a period of two and a half years when compared to men who received other kind of treatments. According to Dr. Kevin Nead of the University of Pennsylvania, it was observed that there is an increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease when androgen deprivation therapy is used for an extended period. This is also corroborated by findings that were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Dr. Nead’s colleagues at Stanford University.
The research team looked through the records of patients who were treated at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and at Stanford. Because of the large number of participants and the unusual nature of the study, it could take a longer period for the researchers to determine its validity. It is reported that prostate cancer is the biggest source of worry in matters of men health as it kills about 30,000 people in the United States every year.
For many decades now, among the most popular treatments are chemotherapy, the use of drugs and surgery. But there are many men who use drugs to cure prostate cancer, yet they should not be using them. If they are overused, these drugs can be very dangerous. This is according to Dr. Brawley of the National Cancer Institute.
So far, the most effective treatment is to adopt an adjuvant hormone therapy after getting an external-beam radiation therapy. Men who get these forms of treatment are able to live longer without getting recurrence. However, the suitability of a treatment method depends on the unique circumstances of the patient.