Does Prostate Cancer Treatment Increase The Risk of Heart Attack?

By

Gina Ricci 

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer which normally affects the prostate gland. The prostate gland is found beneath the urinary bladder just in front of the rectum and is only males. Usually the prostate gland enlarges as the man ages but its rapid growth occurs during puberty. It grows rapidly during puberty because of a rise in male hormones referred to as androgens (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone DHT). In adult men the prostate gland often grows slowly or maintains its size provided the male hormones are there. One of the functions of the prostate gland is to make a fluid that offers protection and nourishes the sperm in cell in semen. Prostate cancer usually affects the gland cells which are found in the prostate. In most reported cases of prostate cancer the cancerous cells often grow slowly although they are cases where they can grow quickly. It is for these reasons that it is important for men to go for cancer screening to ascertain their prostate conditions so that if they are found to have possible signs of prostate cancer, treatment can be instituted immediately.

The Factors that Determine the Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

Treatment Options for Treatment Cancer

The major treatment options for prostate cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, hormone, and radiotherapy therapy. There are several things that doctors usually consider before deciding the kind of treatment option that is best suited for their patients. One of the most important factors that the doctor will consider will be the rate at which the cancer is likely to grow and the extent at which it has already grown.

Can Prostate Cancer Treatment Increase The Risk of Heart Attack?

The major treatment for prostate cancer involves reducing the male hormone levels in the body. It is referred to as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and it basically done to prevent the hormones from stimulating cancer cells growth. The problem with this form of treatment according recent studies is that it comes with various adverse side effects too. Among some of the negative side effects of ADT includes the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and heart attack in some men. According to the studies it was found that amongst men who experienced heart failure or heart attack, ADT was linked with a 5 percent increased risk of death from heart disease. This new finding makes it important for doctors to put into consideration the heart health of their patients before proceeding to administer ADT therapy. It must also be noted that not every man who gets ADT treatment for his prostate cancer will be at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack.

How to Deal With Prostate Cancer in Ways That will not Compromise the Heart Health?

Treatment for prostate cancer is still not yet properly defined by science meaning that even though doctors are improving at targeting cancerous cells, there is no proof that such treatments will not pose health risks to other body parts like the heart. There are several other different techniques that can be used to control cancer cells growth without necessarily using ADT. These techniques are said not to pose any risk to heart attack. Below are some of those techniques:

  • The surgical removal of testicles known as orchidectomycan be used to decrease the level of male hormones in the body. A large percentage of the male hormones are usually made in the testicles and therefore the removal of the testicles will definitely decrease their amounts. What this means is that medications which are normally used to block male hormone production will not be necessary.
  • There is also another surgical procedure where only parts of the testicles that produce testosterone are removed. The exterior skin and the scrotum are left untouched in this procedure known as subcapsular orchidectomy.

What are the Side Effects of ADT Procedure?

Below are some of the side effects of ADT procedure:

Conclusion

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that only affects men and particularly elderly men although even some young men also suffer from it. The prostate gland often grows as a man ages and this can sometimes cause a number of sexual health issues such as BPH. When a man has been diagnosed with prostate cancer there are often a number treatment options used to deal with it. The main cancer treatment option known as ADT involves giving medication that suppresses the production of male hormones. This is usually done because male hormones have been found to help cancerous cells thrive. According to some recent scientific study, ADT procedure increases a person’s risk of heart attack.

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