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Prostate treatment heart warning

Thursday December 8th, 2011

Men undergoing prostate cancer treatment face a massively increased risk of heart disease - but little is done to tackle the risk, experts claim today.

Specialists raise the alarm in the journal Heart, highlighting the risks posed by the anti-hormone drug, androgen suppression therapy.

At least one estimate suggests that for every 1,000 men treated for five years with the drugs, 315 will develop heart disease as a result.

Some 360 would develop diabetes and there would be 28 extra heart attacks and 42 extra strokes.

Urologist Dr Derek Rosario, of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK, calls for guidelines to set out how heart disease will be managed in men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

Writing with Dr Liam Bourke, of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, he says: "Presently, we are unaware of any current local or national management plans that attempt to address the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with androgen suppressant therapy or recognise these men in screening procedure.

"The current status quo of no action is, in our view, unsatisfactory for the patient and unlikely to be cost effective."

He warns that the increased use of PSA testing means men are being diagnosed soon and can remain on treatment for years. This can lead to side-effects such as loss of muscle, bone thinning and fatigue.

Heart December 8 2011; doi 10.1136/heartjnl-2011-300893

Tags: Cancer | Heart Health | Menís Health | Pharmaceuticals

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