Hormone Therapy Improves Men’s Emotional Well-being

Prostate cancer patients treated with a type of therapy that suppresses the production of testosterone experienced improved mental and emotional well-being during treatment, and showed no meaningful decline in emotional quality of life even two years after treatment was completed, according to a new UCSF study.

Androgen deprivation therapy suppresses testosterone production through medical or surgical castration. The treatment, by itself or in combination with radiation therapy, is the gold standard for treating advanced prostate cancer. It delays the cancer’s progression and, overall, improves chances of survival, but its side effects include hot flashes, decreased libido, fatigue and possible harmful cardiovascular effects.

For the study, the authors evaluated the therapy’s effects on men diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer from 1995 to 2011 across the United States. Those treated with androgen deprivation therapy, compared with other therapies, experienced significant improvements in mental and emotional well-being that seemed to continue two years after treatment.

Researchers recommended, however, that patients should be counseled on possible quality of life changes and ways to tackle them before undergoing androgen deprivation therapy.

The study was published in the Journal of Urology.

 

Stephanie M. Lee

San Francisco Chronicle

January, 2014

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