A recent story by ABC News highlights how a growing number of middle-aged or older men are turning to testosterone treatments to offset age-related decreases in their testosterone levels.
These men claim that boosting testosterone leads to weight loss, increased muscle mass, improved sex drive, and improved mood. The side-effects? Increased risk of prostate cancer, possible liver damage, and reported increases in aggressive behaviors.
According to this story, a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine states that only about 2 percent of men older than 40 need testosterone treatment. Nonetheless, with the pharmaceutical industry promoting this form of treatment, prescriptions have doubled since 2006. Sales of testosterone drugs are expected to triple over the next 5 years, making testosterone treatments a $5 billion industry.
So what are the implications of testosterone treatments for men living with prostate cancer...diagnosed or not?
Prostate cancer is largely a hormone sensitive disease. This is why Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) is an effective interim or late stage treatment option. By cutting off your body's supply of testosterone, ADT cuts off the "fuel supply" for any prostate cancer cells that are hormone sensitive.
Knowing that prostate cancer is potentially fueled by testosterone, why would any man diagnosed with or at risk of developing prostate cancer "throw gas on the fire?" Why try to solve a quality of life problem with a potentially life-threatening solution?
For all but the ~2% of men above 40 for whom testosterone treatment is warranted, there is an effective, risk-free alternative. It does not involve a quick fix, but if you are willing to do the work, you will reap the benefits.*
Our XY Wellness Approach is an integrative strategy to promote your body's innate ability to be healthy and to boost your body's innate ability to fight disease. But be warned of the side effects: improved metabolism, increased muscle mass, boosted sex drive, better sleep, more effective stress management, and better mood.*
The core elements of our Approach are all integrated and equally important. We also offer a supplement that does not modulate hormone levels but is designed specifically for men grappling with low testosterone levels, who are seeking additional support in reversing its effects.* To learn more, click here.
As always, work closely with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine what makes best sense for you. That said, as a man living with or at high risk of prostate cancer, be smart. This is your life, so make choices that make sense for you and your loved ones.
We are here to help.