In a nutshell
This study examined if anti-androgen therapy for prostate cancer is associated with depression. This study concluded that the risk of depression is increased in these patients.
Anti-androgen therapy or androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is commonly used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Androgens (such as testosterone) are male hormones that can cause the growth of prostate cancer cells. ADT reduces the amount of androgens made by the body. Some studies have shown that ADT can have a negative effect on mood.
It is not known if there is a link between ADT and depression in men treated for prostate cancer.
Methods & findings
This study looked at the medical records of 39,965 US veterans treated for prostate cancer. They were followed up for an average of 6.8 years. All patients in this study were treated with radiation therapy (RT). 14,843 patients received both RT and ADT. ADT was started within one year of the prostate cancer diagnosis.
Patients who received ADT were 50% more likely to develop depression compared to those who received RT alone. Patients who received ADT were also 21% more likely to use outpatient psychiatric services compared to those who did not receive ADT. ADT was not associated with an increase in inpatient psychiatric service use or suicide.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the risk of depression is increased in patients treated with ADT for prostate cancer.
The fine print
The patients in this study were US veterans. The results may not apply to other populations.
Published By :
Feb 12, 2019
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