Hormone therapy shown to prolong life for some prostate cancer patients

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer are routinely given a harsh hormone therapy treatment for four months — it suppresses the production of the male sex hormone testosterone — but little was known about how effective that treatment was at increasing the odds of survival in those with early- and intermediate-stage disease. So researchers decided to test whether giving the drugs along with radiation treatments could prolong a patient’s life.

The study, conducted by researchers, provides compelling findings for those with somewhat more advanced cancers. Men with moderate stage 2 cancer who took hormone therapy along with radiation had just a 3 percent risk of dying over 10 years compared with a 10 percent risk for those who had just the radiation therapy. But the drugs have side effects that can linger for years: hot flashes, erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, brittle bones, weight gain, and an acceleration of heart disease in those who already have it. Men may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and excessive itching. Read more…


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