The study uses men’s medical records and cannot prove that the treatment caused Alzheimer’s disease in the men.
“I would say this study justifies a better study.” The study of more than 16,000 men being treated for prostate cancer showed that those who got any kind of androgen deprivation therapy had nearly twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s over the next 2 years as men getting other treatments.
Men who take ADT complain about a lot of side effects, from weight gain to mood swings, impotence and hot flashes.
Prostate cancer is the biggest cancer killer in men, after lung cancer.
It’s diagnosed in 240,000 U.S. men and kills about 30,000 a year.
They’ve been used since the 1940s and are given to about 500,000 American men every year.
“There’s a goodly proportion of men today that are taking this drug and should not be taking it,” Brawley said.
“Men who have adjuvant hormone therapy after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer live longer, both overall and without having a recurrence, than men who are treated with radiation therapy alone,” it says.
Hormone therapy can also be used in men whose tumors cannot be surgically removed and it’s sometimes used in men too sick to get surgery.
“Whether hormone therapy prolongs the survival of men who have been newly diagnosed with the advanced disease but do not yet have symptoms is not clear. Moreover, because hormone therapy can have substantial side effects, some men prefer not to take hormone therapy before symptoms develop,” the National Cancer Institute said.