Testosterone Levels and Prostate Cancer
The issue of testosterone levels and prostate cancer has maintained a continuous debate for many decades. For years it was assumed that high testosterone levels and prostate cancer played an interconnected role. However, recent studies have begun to show low testosterone levels and prostate cancer may share a stronger link than high levels, and let's face it, you can't have it both ways. While there is still work to be done, modern data tends to support normal to high testosterone levels and prostate cancer sharing no correlating concern.
Testosterone Levels and Prostate Cancer – Early Thoughts:
The testosterone hormone has the ability to reduce to a more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). When DHT levels increase, this can lead to prostate enlargement. However, it will take a significant increase in DHT for enlargement to occur. At the same time, while enlargement is something all men need to avoid, prostate enlargement and prostate cancer are not necessarily interconnected. Just because you suffer from enlargement does not mean you suffer from cancer. Nevertheless, for decades it was believed that low testosterone levels and prostate cancer was the correct atmosphere for treatment. Many men were given medications to increase estrogen levels and decrease testosterone levels in an effort to combat the condition.
Testosterone Levels and Prostate Cancer – Modern Thought:
It has often been said that increasing testosterone levels and prostate cancer was like adding gasoline to an already raging fire, but there's a problem with this statement. Recent data has shown us that men with low testosterone levels are far more susceptible to prostate cancer than men with normal to high levels. Dr. Abraham Morgentaler was one of the first to introduce this thought; a thought he would back with strong evidence when he presented it to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Korean Journal of Urology also produced similar evidence. In fact, its data showed the relationship between low testosterone and prostate cancer to be much stronger.
When it comes to testosterone levels and prostate cancer, one of the most telling pieces of evidence comes from the UK Androgen Study. In this study, 1,365 men ages 28-87 were prescribed testosterone therapy for up to 20 years. Numerous forms of testosterone were used in the study. During the study, 14 cases of prostate cancer occurred. Obviously a very low number, and there was no evidence that the testosterone levels and prostate cancer in those few men shared any significant correlating relationship. More importantly, as these men were on HRT plans that come with regular prostate examinations, the cancer was detected earlier than it would have been otherwise and was easily removed. In short, men who receive such therapy are at a lower risk of prostate cancer.
The Bottom Line:
When it comes to testosterone levels and prostate cancer there are numerous pieces of evidence that show there is no relationship between high levels and cancer of any significance. There is also an abundant amount of evidence that supports low level individuals being at a much greater risk. However, due to studies from the 1940's and early 1950's that state the opposite, many physicians tend to rely on this rather than modern data. Why, the answer is simple. Most are comfortable with advances in modern medicine, but testosterone, an anabolic steroid, the primary anabolic steroid, is a controversial topic. However, when it comes to testosterone levels and prostate cancer the evidence is overwhelming. Maintaining or increasing levels is far more beneficial.