Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Cancer — TRT Will Not Cause Prostate Cancer
The 1940’s myth that testosterone replacement therapy and cancer of the prostate are directly related, that TRT will cause prostate cancer, keeps hanging around, despite all the research to the contrary.
TRT simply isn’t going to cause you to develop prostate cancer. While it might cause existing prostate cancer to worsen (the studies show mixed data), it will not cause prostate cancer in a healthy person. Testosterone replacement therapy and cancer simply aren’t related in that way.
The Myth About Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Cancer
There’s extremely limited and very flawed research to support the myth connecting prostate cancer and testosterone replacement therapy — a single patient case study by two doctors back in 1941.
“In 1941 Huggins and Hodges reported that marked reductions in T by castration or estrogen treatment caused metastatic pCA to regress, and administration of exogenous T caused pCA to grow. Remarkably, this latter conclusion was based on results from only one patient.”
(We wrote about this more extensively in a previous article that you can read here.)
Incredibly, this one study has cast a shadow of suspicion on TRT for over 75 years.
What Recent Studies Show About Low T and Prostate Cancer
What’s really incredible is that the myth continues in the face of evidence pointing to increased cancer rates among men suffering from low testosterone as compared to men with normal levels (including men achieving normal levels through administration of supplemental testosterone).
The very purpose of TRT is to keep your testosterone levels within a normal, optimum range for your body, so the idea that TRT causes cancer doesn’t make much sense if current research trends continue.
In other words, current research appears to support a conclusion that runs counter to the myth — optimal testosterone levels are associated with average rates of prostate cancer.
A recent study on testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer found that, while TRT may not reduce the total number of cancer cases overall, men receiving TRT might be less susceptible to highly aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
A greater number of “favorable-outcome” cases, meaning tumors more likely to respond to treatment, were found compared to the more life-threatening varieties.
The Best Defense Against Prostate Cancer
Testosterone replacement therapy may actually play a role in cancer prevention.
Checking for signs of prostate cancer, such as significant changes in PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels, is an important part of a responsible testosterone replacement therapy treatment plan — and early detection is the most important cancer prevention measure there is. In this way, TRT often helps with the early discovery of prostate cancer.
PSA levels in the blood between 0-2.5 ng/mL are considered normal. An elevated level, greater than 2.5 ng/mL, may be a sign of cancer, or it may be the result of non-cancerous conditions, like an enlarged prostate, prostate inflammation, trauma, or infection.
Any instance of elevated PSA levels indicates the need for a thorough examination to determine the cause.
Regimented testing, a priority at Testosterone Centers of Texas, can help alert clients of any risk for prostate cancer so they can be examined by a specialist immediately to determine if there is a need for treatment.
In fact, in the clinical study cited above, the authors addressed this very point, saying:
“Although there was more favorable-risk prostate cancer among men who received TRT, this finding may reflect physician-recommended prostate cancer screening in men who take TRT.”
The heavy amount of testing that accompanies hormone replacement therapy, which includes frequent monitoring of PSA, makes it more likely doctors will detect cancer early and save lives.
Find Out More About the Benefits of TRT
There’s no cause-and-effect relationship between testosterone replacement therapy and cancer. Testosterone replacement therapy can worsen existing prostate cancer, but it cannot cause new prostate cancer to grow.
When speaking of any relationship between testosterone replacement therapy and cancer, here’s what we do know:
- Long-term treatment with supplemental testosterone does not increase prostate cancer risk
- Routine lab testing associated with Testosterone replacement therapy may help with the early detection of prostate and other cancers
- Testosterone replacement therapy has a long list of other health benefits and treats many symptoms that reduce your quality of life
There’s a lot of upside to look into — there’s more good news than bad to focus on. It’s time to get past the myth about a cause-and-effect connection between testosterone replacement therapy and cancer.
If you’re suffering from the symptoms of low testosterone, check out the benefits of TRT that can elevate your quality of life by clicking the button below.