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Heart health and stroke risk ignored in prostate cancer treatment

Heart health and stroke risk ignored in prostate cancer treatment
8th December 2011

The risk that prostate cancer treatment poses to heart health and stroke risk is being ignored, according to specialists.

Researchers from the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Urological Association are warning that despite heart and stroke emerging as complications of treating prostate cancer with drugs to suppress testosterone production, they are continuing to be underappreciated, under-researched and unresolved.

Hormone suppression also has other side effects, including bone thickening and increased fracture risk, lowered muscle function and fatigue.

Although it is as yet unclear if there is a direct link between hormone suppressing drugs and cardiovascular disease and stroke, researchers claim that it is a plausible explanation for the complications associated with prostate cancer treatments.

Researchers have also previously found that when a common type of prostate cancer was treated with conventional hormone suppressing therapy, the cancer was able to adapt and compensate by activating a survival cell signalling pathway.

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