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Posted by on Jan 27, 2019 in Prostate cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the relationship between testosterone level before prostate removal and cancer recurrence, erectile dysfunction (ED) and urinary incontinence (UI). It concluded that low testosterone before prostate removal was connected to cancer recurrence and ED. 

Some background

Prostate cancer is an uncontrolled growth of the cells which make up the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can be treated by medication, surgery or radiation. Medication aims to kill the prostate cancer cells chemically. Surgery aims to cut out the cancerous prostate tissue. Radiation therapy uses radio waves to kill the cancerous tissue. 

Sometimes after surgery, man can have complications. These may include UI or ED. The recurrence of prostate cancer can still be a worry even after prostate removal. Testosterone level could be connected to UI, ED or cancer recurrence after surgery. Testosterone level could help in identifying the risk of these. 

Methods & findings

Databases were searched for men who had had prostate removal surgery. 586 men's data was looked at in the study. Patients had testosterone level tests before surgery. Patients filled out questionnaires on UI and ED. Patients were followed for at least one year after surgery. Patients had follow-up tests every month for six months and every 6 months thereafter. Patients were assessed for cancer recurrence, ED and UI at these. 

25.9% of patients had low testosterone levels. Tumor size and chemical indicators of cancer were found to be connected with low testosterone. 20.3% of patients still had the chemical indicator of cancer in their blood after surgery. 31 patients died from late stage cancer after surgery. Low testosterone was connected to a higher risk of the chemical indicator after surgery. 11.8% of patients had UI after surgery. This was not connected to testosterone level. 66.4% of patients had ED after surgery. This was connected to testosterone level. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that low testosterone before prostate removal could be connected to cancer recurrence and erectile dysfunction. 

The fine print

The authors note that the data used was incomplete. This may have affected this study's results. 

What’s next?

If you are interested in learning more about the effects of low testosterone, talk to your doctor. 

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Jan 18, 2019

Original Title :
Free testosterone value before radical prostatectomy is related to oncologic outcomes and post-operative erectile function.
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