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Is Testosterone Contributing to Prostate Cancer?

Testosterone PillsStudy Shows Testosterone is a Tumor Promoter in Rats

On September 23, an article was published in the Journal Endocrinology summarizing a study which concluded, “Testosterone was shown to be a weak complete carcinogen and a strong tumor promoter for the rat prostate in this study.” Martin C. Bosland of the Department of Pathology at the University of Illinois at Chicago carried out the study and is very concerned about the results.

F.D.A. Also Concerned about Testosterone

Earlier this month an F.D.A. advisory panel discussed the potential for testosterone to cause heart attacks. The panel was not able to confirm that testosterone was in fact causing heart attacks due to limitations of the studies that found such a link, but the evidence was strong enough that the panel ordered clinical trials to determine the safety of the drug. The panel also voted to restrict the marketing of testosterone therapy only to those suffering from a serious illness such as hypogonadism. Bosland’s study echoes the panels’ suggestions. “Until adequate human studies are available, it appears prudent to limit testosterone therapy to those men who suffer from symptomatic clinical hypogonadism.” While the F.D.A. panel was making this suggestion due to fears of a link between testosterone and heart attacks, Bosland fears there may also be a connection between testosterone and prostate cancer.

His study tested rats, which were given testosterone, to determine the number of them which developed prostate cancer. Some rats were given a known carcinogen, others were given testosterone, and others still were given both the carcinogen and testosterone. The results of the study showed that rats given only the known carcinogen did not develop prostate cancer, but the study found “prostate carcinomas in 10%-18%” of rats given testosterone only. When both the known carcinogen and testosterone were given to the rats, the incidence of prostate carcinomas was increased to anywhere from 57%-71% depending on the level of testosterone given. According to the article “The most striking and novel observation was the strong prostate cancer response to the lowest testosterone dose, which did not increase circulating testosterone.”

Due to the results of his study and other studies which have highlighted concerns about the safety of testosterone, Bosland suggests in the article that men “avoid testosterone use for nonmedical purposes.” He also believes both the medical community and the general population need to “consider the lowered circulating testosterone levels occurring in aging men a physiological phenomenon and not a disease that requires treatment.” Bosland’s study showed that testosterone can cause prostate cancer in rats but “If testosterone is also a carcinogen and tumor-promoter agent for the human prostate, testosterone therapy could result in increased risk of prostate cancer.” Because of this, Bosland says studies of men who have taken and are currently taking testosterone are “urgently needed.”

Suffered Injury Following Testosterone Treatment?

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from testosterone therapy, contact an experienced dangerous drug attorney at Hensley Legal Group. Our attorneys have experience with these cases and can get you the answers you need following your injury. We are also experienced in other types of dangerous drug and medical device cases. You can find out more on our dangerous drug and medical device webpage. You can reach us 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 317-222-3333, or contact us via web  and fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ box.