A type of hormone therapy that is used to treat cancer of the prostate could increase the risk of both diabetes and heart disease, a new study reveals.
Hormone therapy has saved many people who have cancer from death, yet the researchers claim that in some instances men could be swapping one cause of death for another.
An assistant professor of health care policy and medicine at the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Nancy Keating, said in a formal statement, “Men with prostate cancer have high five-year survival rates, but they also have higher rates of noncancer mortality than healthy men. This study shows that a common hormonal treatment for prostate cancer may put men at significant risk for other serious diseases. Patients and physicians need to be aware of the elevated risk as they make treatment decisions.”
Keating and colleagues published their results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, examining 73,000 men who had been diagnosed with either local or regional cancer of the prostate. One of the treatments involved can be a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist drug. Those men who received this drug were found to face a 44 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes and a 16 per cent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

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