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Androgen Supplementation and Prostate Cancer Risk: Strategies for Pretherapy Assessment and Monitoring

By Michael K Brawer


Since in men androgen levels decrease with age and result in symptoms of hypogonadism, the use of testosterone supplementation to treat symptoms resulting from hypogonadism is increasing. One potential complication of this treatment is the possibility of an increased risk of prostate cancer. Although most authorities agree that androgen is involved in the exacerbation of existing carcinoma of the prostate, the action of androgens on the carcinogenic process is not well understood. Attempts to demonstrate a correlation between hormone levels and prostate cancer have yielded inconsistent results. No clear evidence exists that androgen supplementation to restore physiologic levels produces any deleterious effects on the prostate. It is highly doubtful that when testosterone therapy is administered to middle-aged or older men, any potential prostate cancer promotion effect will be clinically manifested in the absence of already established cancer. It is, however, imperative that existing or developing prostate cancer be ruled out before initiation and during androgen replacement therapy. As with any therapeutic regimen, careful monitoring of the patient receiving treatment is recommended and constitutes good medical care

Topics: The Aging Male
Publisher: MedReviews, LLC
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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