Confusion About Testosterone Therapy and Prostate Cancer

An increased risk of prostate cancer is one of the most widely cited side effects of hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for low testosterone in men. The evidence supporting this belief, like that supporting the Million Woman Study’s correlation between HRT and breast cancer, is dated and possibly false. Low testosterone is potentially a risk factor FOR some forms of male cancer, according to some recent studies.Have a look at Weight Loss Clinic in Louisville for more info on this.

The hypothesis that testosterone replacement therapy raised the risk of prostate cancer dates back to studies conducted by a group headed by urologist Charles Huggins at the University of Chicago in the 1940s. Huggins’ group concluded that prostate cancer was androgen dependent based on studies conducted first on dogs and then on humans. When testosterone levels were elevated, the cancer worsened, but when testosterone levels were low, the cancer shrank. Huggins’ hypothesis led to surgical castration, or the removal of the testicles, becoming the normal treatment for prostate cancer due to the reduction in testosterone that resulted. Huggins received a Nobel Prize for his contributions to medical science in 1966.

Huggins’ results led scientists and doctors to conclude for years that testosterone levels and the incidence of prostate cancer were related, despite the fact that his tests did not test or prove this and were limited to a small number of test subjects. As a result, doctors are wary of hormone replacement therapy, fearing that it could lead to the growth of prostate cancer. Despite its benefits, many doctors were hesitant to prescribe HRT.

More testing was done over time, and studies found that men with low testosterone had a higher than average risk of prostate cancer, and that testosterone only triggered prostate cancer development in men who had been castrated, not in men who still developed testosterone naturally. It was important to reexamine the alleged correlation between testosterone and prostate cancer.