Low Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

Low Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

Low Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

Testosterone may be considered the hormone responsible for masculinity. It is responsible for producing sperm, facial hair, and body hair; a man’s testosterone levels also determine the strength of their sex drive.  Men naturally get into a phase of low testosterone levels as they grow into middle age. It also happens that this is the age bracket where you are likely to find men with prostate cancer. Whether a man has prostate cancer or not is determined by the levels of a prostate-specific antigen in their blood. Everyone reserves the right to decide whether and when they get screened for prostate cancer, but regular prostate cancer screening is strongly recommended for all men over 40. 

The Connection

Is there a connection between low testosterone and prostate cancer? We have established there is one, but how is it? At first glance, it may appear like the relationship between low testosterone and prostate cancer levels is such that reduced hormone equals a greater possibility of getting affected. Such a conclusion would be based on the fact that the demographic with the lowest testosterone levels also have the highest prostrate prevalence. However, the opposite is true. Low testosterone levels stifle the growth of prostate cancer. That is why, if a man with prostate cancer tries to use hormone therapy to increase their testosterone levels, cancer becomes more aggressive. This leaves no doubt that testosterone increases the growth of prostate cancer. 

As a result of these findings, hormone therapy is one of the main treatments used on people with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer radiation therapy is also used widely. In hormone therapy, doctors prescribe blockers to keep the body from producing testosterone, thus inhibiting the tumor’s growth. The connection between testosterone and this cancer has discouraged doctors from prescribing testosterone therapy for men at risk. 

The discovery that increased testosterone levels facilitate prostate cancer cells’ growth was made in the early 1940s. However, some recent research studies appear to contradict this long-held stand. One such study suggests that testosterone therapy for hypogonadism and prostate cancer can lead to an improved patient lifestyle without fueling the cancer cells’ multiplication.  

Another study whose findings were published in the BJU International indicates that the reduction of testosterone levels in a patient with low-risk prostate cancer is usually an indication that it is worsening. Traditional understanding of prostate cancer couldn’t envisage a scenario, where low testosterone level is associated with a worsening case of prostate cancer. The study is therefore, a further indication of the shifting paradigms on prostate cancer in the scientific world. 

These apparent contradictions between conventional wisdom and new research findings warrant further research. The research will establish the relationship between prostate cancer and testosterone more precisely and inform more effective therapy options. 

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancer manifests in a patient when cells in a part of their body grow out of control. In line with this understanding, a person is said to have prostate cancer when cells in the prostate gland overgrown. This type of cancer only affects men because women don’t have prostate glands. These are the glands that produce part of the fluids that make up the semen. 

The prostate is located between the bladder rectum. It is just below the bladder and some distance in front of the rectum. Typically, a young boy’s prostate is small, but its size increases progressively as they grow. 

Prostate cancer is almost always an adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that originates from cells of the wall of a gland. However, the cancer can develop as a small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, transitional cell carcinoma, or neuroendocrine tumors. Cases where prostate cancer develops in any form other than adenocarcinoma are, however, extremely rare.  

Cancer of the prostate is usually not as aggressive as other types. There are many instances where men live with it for years, sometimes without their knowledge, and end up dying of other causes because it doesn’t affect their day-to-day lives.

How to Reduce the Risk

Having cancer is physically, financially and emotionally draining. Anxiety and depression are some of the main comorbidities in cancer patients due to the stress it causes. Preventing it is therefore immeasurably better than having to treat it.

Many of the risk factors for prostate cancer, such as age, genes, and race, are beyond anyone’s control. Older men are more susceptible to it, as are people who come from families with a history of prostate cancer. Men of African origin have also been found to be more vulnerable to prostate cancer than other races. Now here are ways you can reduce the possibility of getting it.

Diet

A high saturated fats diet increases the possibility of getting prostate cancer; you should avoid it or reduce intake. You should also eat less red meat and eat more fruits and vegetables. Cauliflower, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables are especially recommended since they have protective qualities. Cooked tomatoes may also protect you; increase how much of them you eat.

Omega 3 fats also reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and you should eat more of them from tuna, salmon, anchovies, Atlantic Herring, and other fish. If you can’t find such fish, you can look for high-quality Omega 3 supplements.

Check your weight

If you have a body mass index of 30 or higher, you are in greater danger of prostate cancer. Therefore, you need to reduce your weight to a healthy level to reduce your risk. It is also good for you to avoid smoking; tobacco smoke has many different toxins known to be among common causes of cancer.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options: Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery or Hemp Oil?

Like any other cancer type, prostate cancer has various treatment options depending on its stage. Chemotherapy can help during low stages, while advanced stages require a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery for eligible patients. Besides conventional medicine, some studies show that cannabinoids in CBD oils affect prostate cancer cells.

The studies focused on two main cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The studies established that cannabinoids could potentially stop the growth and division of prostate cancer cells. They can also kill the cancer cells, preventing them from invading surrounding tissues or metastasis.

Apart from the curative benefits in prostate cancer patients, CBD oil also alleviates other health conditions associated with cancer treatment. CBD and THC help relieve nausea, anorexia, vomiting, neuropathy, insomnia, anxiety, and depression affecting cancer patients. Depending on the associated condition, you should find suitably formulated CBD oils. For instance, those with depression symptoms can greatly benefit from the best CBD oil for anxiety available on the market.

Synthetic CBD oils, such as Dronabinol, have proven effective in treating nausea and vomiting induced by chemo drugs. The only limitation to the use of CBD oil is that they are not marketed as dietary supplements or medicine. As such, it is highly unregulated, making it hard to determine good products with the right THC and CBD amounts. This necessitates the importance of a thorough search and consulting your physician before using it to treat prostate cancer.

Takeaways

Men over forty should go for regular check-ups to ensure that the cancer is caught early should they have it. It is also clear that paradigms are shifting concerning the relationship between prostate cancer and low testosterone levels. As a result of the discoveries, there is an urgent need for further research to establish more efficient treatment regimens. Many of the most significant causes of prostate cancer are beyond one’s control, but weight reduction and diet can substantially reduce risk.

What to Expect After Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

What to Expect After Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that affects the prostate gland. The prostate is a small gland that is shaped like a walnut and is found in men’s pelvis. It is found next to the bladder and professionals examine it by doing a rectal exam.

One of the ways to treat prostate cancer is by using radiation therapy. Radiation therapy destroys cancerous cells, but it is also possible for the process to destroy normal cells. Here we will take a look at what to expect after radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Radiation treatment has many side effects. In most cases, these side effects start to take effect a few weeks after treatment has started. It is also worth noting that the side effects can be very unpleasant. However, one brighter side, some treatments can help reduce the effects of the symptoms. There are two types of side effects, short term side effects, and long term side effects.

Short Terms Side Effects

Any prostate cancer patient who receives radiotherapy treatment whether it is brachytherapy or external beam can develop side effects. The side effects that start a few weeks into the radiotherapy treatment are short term side effects.

Short term effects affect each patient differently. You might not have these problems, but it is good to consult with your doctor as soon as you start treatment. Here are some common short term side effects.

Skin Irritation

This is a common side effect among radiation treatment patients. In most cases, the skin becomes red, sensitive, dry, and irritated. If you are in radiotherapy treatment and you notice that your skin appears like it has sunburn signs, then know that it’s a side effect from the treatment.

You can overcome the problem through gentle skin treatment and bathing carefully using mild soap and warm water. It is strongly advised not to use scented soaps or lotions because they can increase the irritation.

Loss Of Pubic Hair

As soon as you start radiotherapy treatment, you will lose hair in your pubic areas. Hair will start to grow again when you are already more than a month in the treatment. However, it is worth noting that the pubic hair might not grow back as it once was before treatment started. Therefore, be ready to face this fact.

Fatigue

In almost all people who go through radiation treatment, fatigue is a common short term side effect. It begins within a few weeks in treatment, but it goes away after a few months in the treatment program.

Irritation In The Urinary Tract And Rectal Tissues

Prostate cancer radiation treatment can cause changes in urine and bowel movement habits. The symptoms are short-lived and you will be back to your normal self after a few weeks of completing the treatment. It is advisable to take a lot of fluids.

Long Term Effects

Long term effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer take place months or years after the treatment has ended. The risks associated with late side effects are dependent on radiation techniques and fields of radiation. Here is what to expect after radiation treatment for prostate cancer in the long term.

Infertility

One of the most serious long term side effects of radiation treatment is infertility. It is advisable to consult with your oncologist and discuss sperm banking to ensure your prospects of having children in the future are safe.

Problems With Your Bladder

Nor being able to hold your urine is one of the worst long term side effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Other problems include hemorrhagic cystitis which leads to bloody urine, UTI or urinary tract infections and even bladder cancer. Therefore, if you start having problems when passing urine, you should contact your doctor.

Erectile Dysfunction

After radiation treatment has ended, you can have dry orgasms or erectile dysfunction. It is possible to get help and overcome these problems. If you are married, you can arrange for a couple’s therapy session so that you can get through these problems together as a couple.

Secondary Cancers

Although the risk is low, there are chances of developing secondary cancers in areas that were affected by the radiation treatment. The main cause of secondary cancers is the exposure of healthy tissues to radiation treatment. However, it is assuring to know that technology has developed the treatment techniques such that only the affected areas are exposed to the radiation.

In Conclusion

Many people do not know what to expect after radiation treatment for prostate cancer but the points listed above can give you a clue. It is also possible for you not to show any side effects at all. However, if you show the symptoms, talk to your oncologist to help you manage the side effects.

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy

Over time, the use of hormone therapy in prostate cancer life expectancy has been based on the demonstration that such androgen actions target malignant prostate cells. Patients weighing their treatment options for localized intermediate and high-risk cancer often find it difficult to choose from the various options available. Standard treatment procedures involve the radiation therapies and medications that block testosterone, a male hormone that promotes the growth of cancer cells in the prostate.

Unfortunately, cancer drugs come with serious side effects, including impotence, loss of muscle mass, and fatigue. Since radiation doesn’t treat prostate cancer fully without these drugs, doctors currently prefer combining it with hormone therapy. This is backed by a study from the New England Journal of Medicine indicating that patients who undergo hormone therapy are likely to survive longer, especially after surgery. 

Better Results Seen with Hormone Therapy

Radiation therapy is a crucial phase in treating prostate cancer as it eliminates any cancer cells that may remain after prostatectomy. Like the use of CBD oil for pain management in cancer, radiation only treats cancer cells localized in the pelvis, where the initial cancerous cells were located. Unlike radiation, hormone therapy treats cancerous cells in every part of the body and enhances the effects of radiation.

According to this leading research published in the New England Journal, the study concluded that prostate cancer patients using a combination of radiation and androgen therapy for 24 years significantly decreased death rates. So to say, less than 6 percent of patients who received hormone therapy die from prostate cancer after 12 years. On the other hand, 13% of patients who did not receive the combined radiation and hormone therapy died. Additionally, patients who used hormone therapy had a 9 percent reduced rate of developing metastatic prostate cancer.

Better Results Seen with Hormone Therapy

Radiation therapy is a crucial phase in treating prostate cancer as it eliminates any cancer cells that may remain after prostatectomy. Like the use of CBD oil for pain management in cancer, radiation only treats cancer cells localized in the pelvis, where the initial cancerous cells were located. Unlike radiation, hormone therapy treats cancerous cells in every part of the body and enhances the effects of radiation.

According to this leading research published in the New England Journal, the study concluded that prostate cancer patients using a combination of radiation and androgen therapy for 24 years significantly decreased death rates. So to say, less than 6 percent of patients who received hormone therapy die from prostate cancer after 12 years. On the other hand, 13% of patients who did not receive the combined radiation and hormone therapy died. Additionally, patients who used hormone therapy had a 9 percent reduced rate of developing metastatic prostate cancer.

Radiation therapy is a crucial phase in treating prostate cancer as it eliminates any cancer cells that may remain after prostatectomy. Like the use of CBD oil for pain management in cancer, radiation only treats cancer cells localized in the pelvis, where the initial cancerous cells were located. Unlike radiation, hormone therapy treats cancerous cells in every part of the body and enhances the effects of radiation.

According to this leading research published in the New England Journal, the study concluded that prostate cancer patients using a combination of radiation and androgen therapy for 24 years significantly decreased death rates. So to say, less than 6 percent of patients who received hormone therapy die from prostate cancer after 12 years. On the other hand, 13% of patients who did not receive the combined radiation and hormone therapy died. Additionally, patients who used hormone therapy had a 9 percent reduced rate of developing metastatic prostate cancer.

 

As mentioned, hormone therapy in prostate cancer treatment is used to slow or prevent testosterone production from the body. Testosterone is a male hormone that stimulates the growth of cancer cells in the prostate. Therefore, cancer specialists can recommend using hormone therapy at different times for different reasons during the treatment phase. Hormone therapy is best for several situations.

Patients with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer are the first eligible group for this therapy. Hormone therapy helps shrink and slow the growth of tumors. This relieves the signs and symptoms of cancer. Secondly, it suits patients whose levels of prostate-specific antigen remain high or start increasing after treatment of prostate cancer.

Hormone therapy is also beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of radiation therapy in patients with local prostate cancer. Physicians also prescribe for patients with high risks of cancer recurrence after the first treatment. This is because it helps in suppressing the cancerous cells.

Treatment Options for Hormone Therapy

The use of hormone therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer can be achieved in three ways. The first approach is the use of medications that stop testosterone production in the body. Some medications, such as gonadotropin or luteinizing hormone agonist and antagonist, can be used to prevent testosterone production in the body.

Doctors can secondly use medications that block testosterone hormones from making contact with cancer cells. Also known as anti-androgens, they are given alongside luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist to prevent testosterone from reaching the cancerous cells. Surgery to remove the testes is the third effective way of achieving hormone therapy. It reduces the levels of testosterone hormones quickly. However, unlike medication, surgery is a permanent procedure.

Side Effects of Hormone Therapy

The use of hormone therapy in young patients with early prostate cancer and long periods requires a careful evaluation of the indications. Possible risks associated with this treatment option include the risks of over-Treatment, developing a hormone-refractory disease, affects quality of life, leads to bone thinning, erectile dysfunction, and increased body fat.

Men with significant pre-existing conditions, such as heart problems and diabetes, often experience serious side effects or report worsening of previous conditions. To reduce hormone therapy’s possible consequences, doctors often recommend using them for a specific period or until the PSA levels are low.

However, patients may need to resume using this therapy if cancer progresses or recurs. Several studies have shown that intermittent dosing of medications used for hormone therapy can also reduce the risks of developing side effects.

Conclusion

Prostate cancer, like any other form of cancer, is on the rise. So to say, there are about 200,000 diagnoses made in the U.S. every year. Of these, 75,000 undergo a prostatectomy, but 30% of them experience a surge in PSA levels, even after the surgery. In such situations, doctors often opt for radiation therapy to eliminate recurrence. However, hormone therapy’s inclusion during radiation has demonstrated better results in preventing recurrence and increased life expectancy among prostate cancer patients.