Prostate Cancer Treatment may have Side Effects

Prostate cancer treatment may have side effects

Men take note: A common hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer may prompt other serious health problems.

Previous studies have linked a type of prostate cancer drug known as GnRH agonist (gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist) to increased risk of insulin resistance and increased fat mass.

To further explore these risks, researchers at Harvard Medical School followed the medical records of more than 73,000 men over the age of 65 with prostate cancer. All of the cases were diagnosed between 1992 and 1999 and followed through 2001.

Analysis of the data showed that treatment with GnRH agonist was associated with a 44 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a 16 percent increased risk of heart disease.

In a statement released by Harvard, Dr. Nancy Keating noted that although prostate cancer patients have high five-year survival rates, they also have higher rates of early noncancer mortality compared to healthy men of the same age.


“ALA-Rich Walnuts Could Protect Arteries After High-Fat Meal” Stephen Daniells, FoodNavigator, 10/11/06,
“Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease During Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer” Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 24, No. 27, 9/20/06,
“Prostate Cancer Treatment Increases Diabetes Danger” NetDoctor, 9/19/06,