Treatment of prostate cancer brings few health risks
Treatments against prostate cancer that regulate the male hormone testosterone are currently associated with a higher risk of heart attack. But a new analysis by researchers at Boston's Dana-Farber / Brigham and Women's Cancer Center ( ) indicates that this risk may be minimal for most men. Over the past year, health groups, such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Urological Association, issued a statement to alert physicians and patients about the risks of such treatment. But this new review, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that there are no significant numbers of deaths from heart attack or another heart problem among patients receiving prostate cancer treatment? called androgen-blocking therapy.
Researchers have shown that, in fact, this treatment is associated with a lower risk of death from prostate cancer. The research did not specifically evaluate men with heart disease, but the results are enough to reassure patients with prostate cancer. Reducing testosterone levels in the body is done because the hormone causes tumor growth. The purpose of this review was to analyze the safety of the treatment. For this, an analysis was made of eight studies, which, in all, compared 2,200 patients who received hormonal blockade therapy with about 2,000 patients who did not receive this treatment. Participants were followed for up to 15 years. During this time, 11% of patients who were treated with hormone-blockers died from cardiovascular disease-related causes. Men who received the therapy had a 31% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer during the study compared to men who did not receive it. They also had lower chances of dying from other causes during the study. The death rate was 38% for the group treated with hormonal inhibitors, and 44% for the group that did not receive this treatment.
Know the methods of treatment of prostate cancer
According to the urologist doctor and director of the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU), André Cavalcanti, the types of treatment vary according to the degree of cancer and the age of the patient.
It is indicated in cases where the cancer has not yet spread to other organs, and in which the life expectancy of the man is more than 10 years. Surgery consists of total withdrawal of the prostate and surrounding lymphatic tissues, which can lead to erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
Radiotherapy enters as an alternative method for patients at high surgical risk or who prefer to circumvent surgery . However, the treatment has less effectiveness compared to total prostate withdrawal. A further setback to this therapeutic measure is that man can suffer from side effects, such as irritation of the cervix and rectum and tissues near the prostate.
When the disease is more advanced, the specialist usually relies on hormones that block elevations in testosterone levels. Prostate cancer feeds on testosterone. With hormonal blockade, the tendency is for the tumor to slow down or stop growing.
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