A couple of weeks ago you may have read in my posts and elsewhere about how the latest research has found that there is no link between testosterone replacement therapy and an increased risk of heart attacks.
Now, there is more good news for men taking, and men considering testosterone replacement therapy. Another definitive and landmark study has just been released that shows there is no causal link between testosterone supplementation and an increased risk of prostate cancer in men.
For decades there has been an erroneous belief that testosterone replacement therapy could increase the risks of developing prostate cancer of men on such treatment. While there has actually been very little evidence of that ever being the case, the myth persisted. Now, the latest research published in The Journal of Urology, indicates that there is no increased risk, “even if men use such therapy for years.”
The study, which tracked over 1000 men who were on testosterone replacement therapy, some for as long as 10 years, conclude we have now provided “considerable evidence indicating [there is] no relationship between testosterone and increased risk of developing prostate cancer.”
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However, “decades of physician training with the notion that testosterone is fuel for prostate cancer made it difficult to dispel such fallacy and the myth continued to persist,” said Ahmad Haider, MD, PhD, the lead researcher on the study.
How This Testosterone Myth Started
The idea that testosterone supplementation can increase the risk of prostate cancer originates from largely flawed studies conducted back in the 1940s. These studies found that men that already had advanced prostate cancer benefited from a castration, a radical treatment that totally eliminated their ability to produce testosterone. By extension, scientists believed that prostate cancer “fed” on testosterone.
But it is very important to point out that these decades old studies, and ones done since, were only conducted on men who already had prostate cancer. There has never been a single published study to indicate that testosterone caused prostate cancer in healthy cancer-free men.
In fact, in addition to the study just published by Dr. Haider and his colleagues, a study published in spring of 2014 concluded that it is not high testosterone levels, but low testosterone levels that actually put men at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
We as practitioners who have safely and effectively used testosterone replacement for years, applaud the efforts to dispel these myths and misconceptions about testosterone supplementation, and look forward to helping many more men who may have avoided receiving testosterone optimization therapies based on bad science.
Other Myths and Misconceptions About Testosterone Therapy
Two of the most serious misconceptions about testosterone replacement have now hopefully been put to rest. Yet, we know others still exist. Some I hear in my practice all the time are that testosterone replacement can lead to aggression or “roid rage,” and that “only old men need testosterone supplementation.” Neither of these are true. If you believe you may be suffering from low-T, have yourself tested. Today, you really have nothing to fear, and much to gain.
Testosterone Optimization Today
We know now that as men age, they go through a condition known as “andropause,” also known as low testosterone or low-T. The symptoms of andropause or low-T can include thinning hair, weight gain, fatigue, loss of muscle tone, depression, and sexual wellness issues.
That last one can be the most troubling, and is often the reason men come to me seeking testosterone optimization therapies. Of course there are many factors other than age, from diet to stress, to sleep, that can affect your sex drive or libido, but the drop in testosterone that occurs as you age, is often the root cause of sexual wellness issues.
Testosterone replacement therapy for erectile dysfunction, and/or other sexual wellness concerns can range from applying topical creams, or gels, to oral supplementation, or injection. These types of hormone replacement therapies for men have been shown to have a positive effect for patients who have come to me experiencing a decreased sex drive and/or performance issues.
Testosterone replacement can also boost mood, reduce fat, increase lean muscle mass, improve cognition, and just overall return you to the man you once were, or become the one you always wanted to be!
Have you or anyone you know tried any testosterone replacement or other hormone optimization therapies? What were the results?
Start the conversation below.