A Possible Risk of Androgen Deprivation Therapy

Androgen deprivation therapy in patients with prostate cancer may raise dementia risk

(RxWiki News) Men with prostate cancer who take androgen-lowering medication may have a raised risk of dementia, a new study found.

In fact, their risk may be nearly double that of men with prostate cancer who don't receive androgen deprivation therapy, a treatment that lowers androgens such as testosterone. Testosterone can promote prostate tumor growth.

This Stanford University Medical Center study looked at data for nearly 10,000 patients with prostate cancer, a common cancer in men that affects the prostate.

Among the more than 1,800 patients who received androgen deprivation therapy, 7.9 percent were diagnosed with dementia within five years of treatment. For the patients who did not receive the androgen-lowering treatment, that figure was just 3.5 percent.

The researchers behind this study said that, while their findings were compelling, they did not recommend that men receiving androgen deprivation therapy should stop or alter their treatment regimen. They called for more research on the topic. 

A limitation of the study was this study could not determine a causal association between androgen-lowering medication dementia risk.

Talk to your doctor about the best prostate cancer treatment approach for you.

This study was published in JAMA Oncology.

The National Library of Medicine, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and Stanford's Department of Medicine funded this research. 

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Review Date: 
October 20, 2016