Hormonal prostate cancer therapy tied to blood clots

Hormone-targeted therapy for prostate cancer may raise the risk of potentially dangerous blood clots. Analyzing data on more than 154,000 older men with prostate cancer, researchers found that those who received hormonal therapy had double the rate of blood clots in the veins, arteries or lungs compared to men not on the treatment. Of the 58,000-plus men taking hormonal therapy, 15 percent developed a blood clot over roughly four years, versus seven percent of men who did not receive get the therapy.

A clot in the blood vessels can prove fatal if it breaks loose and travels to the lungs, heart or brain. In this study, men who developed blood clots ended up in the hospital about one-quarter of the time, the researchers report in the journal Cancer.

Other potential side effects of hormonal therapy include weight gain, bone thinning, hot flashes and erectile dysfunction. And for many prostate cancer patients, experts say, the benefits of hormonal therapy are not clear. The approach is based on the fact that testosterone can fuel the growth of prostate cancer. Curbing a man’s production of the hormone — by surgical removal of the testicles or, far more often, medication — can be helpful. Read more…




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