Androgens and prostate cancer risk

  • Wirén S
  • Stattin P
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Abstract

Androgens have been implicated in prostate tumourigenesis. However, no association between circulating levels of androgens and prostate cancer risk was found in a recent large pooled analysis of prospective studies. A decreased risk of prostate cancer among men treated with finasteride, a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor which reduces levels of dihydrotestosterone, was observed in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), a large clinical trial. In the PCPT, a higher number of high-grade tumours was found in the finasteride group than in the control group; the reason for this finding is still unclear. Treatment of symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism - such as decreased muscle and bone mass and decreased cognition and libido - has become more prevalent with the advent of new forms of administration of testosterone replacement therapy. One small placebo-controlled study showed no increase in incidence of prostate cancer after 6 months of testosterone therapy, but data on the safety of testosterone replacement therapy remain limited.

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Authors

  • Sara Wirén

  • Pär Stattin

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