Prostate Cancer: Bone Decay Results From Treatment

October 7, 2010

For men receiving a common treatment for Prostate Cancer, bone decay may become threat according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The new research found that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may cause skeletal decay over a long period of time. Find out more, plus pictures and video below.

Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  2

Hollywood great Dennis Hopper passed away from the disease in May of this year. ADT works by inhibiting the production of male sex hormones which feed the growth. After confirming the disease with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, about 600,000 patients are treated with ADT every year in the U.S.

“Sex steroid deficiency induced by ADT for prostate cancer results in microarchitectural decay. Bone fragility in these men may be more closely linked to testosterone than estradiol deficiency,” the study’s author said.

Scientists have long known the connection between sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, and skeletal health. Osteoperosis is partially caused in women because of the post-menopausal loss of estrogen production in the body. Still, this is the first study to examine the condition in connection with the treatment for prostate cancer. Bone decay as a result of ADT treatment could, in theory, lead to painful fractures and higher risk of serious injury in those treated.

“We used a new technology that allows us to assess bone microarchitecture and we found ADT is associated with structural decay of corticol (hard outer shell) and trabecular (spongy inner mesh) bone. This technology may be a useful test in predicting fractures in patients, but further research is needed in identifying individuals at greatest fracture risk as well as optimal therapeutic strategies,” the study authors noted.

The findings put doctors in a difficult position regarding the treatment of this disease. As the most effective treatment for prostate cancer, bone loss may have to be an accepted side effect if it means saving a life. Hopefully, further research will reveal how to protect the skeleton in the absence of sex hormones. What do you think of the study’s findings? Would you opt for this using ADT if you needed it? Let me know in the comment section! And check out the photos and video on the story below!

Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  3 Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  4 Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  5 Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  6 Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  7 Prostate Cancer Victim Dennis Hopper  1

Photos: FayesVision, Andres Otero, Chris Connor, Digital Creations, Judy Eddy

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