Men diagnosed with prostate cancer should be aware of the several treatment options available to them, including watchful waiting, surgery, hormone therapy, and brachytherapy. The treatment choice physicians recommend should be based on each patient’s unique needs. However, it is imperative to recognize that some treatments, such as hormone therapy (also referred to as androgen deprivation therapy or ADT), can hurt the patient’s heart. Therefore, it is the responsibility of physicians to be knowledgeable about the potential side effects of each treatment option and make an informed decision that prioritizes the patient’s overall health and well-being.
Studies show men with prostate cancer using ADT may increase risk of heart disease
Studies have indicated that Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) may cause several side effects, such as reduced muscle mass, weight gain, and increased levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. Furthermore, medications that block testosterone may harm the QT interval of the heart, which is the time between heartbeats that allows heart cells to recharge. The American Heart Association has even warned physicians about this possibility.
The analysis of the study suggests that the use of testosterone-blocking agents and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) can have significant implications for patients. Therefore, healthcare professionals and clinicians must act with caution while prescribing these medications, considering their potential benefits and risks. Additionally, patients should receive proper education and information about the potential side effects and adverse outcomes of these treatments before starting the therapy. By following these measures, healthcare providers can ensure that their patients receive the best possible care and treatment for their medical conditions.
While certain habits or conditions may increase the risk of developing heart disease, it is not a certainty that it will affect everyone. However, it is important to educate oneself about the symptoms of cardiovascular disease so that you can inform your doctor as soon as you notice any signs.
Symptoms of heart disease can include:
- Chest pain, tightness or pressure
- Swelling in your legs and ankles
- Shortness of breath
It is recommended that individuals undergoing treatment for prostate cancer implement specific lifestyle changes to significantly lower their chances of developing heart problems. These changes should include adhering to a healthy diet that avoids foods high in cholesterol, exercising regularly, ceasing cigarette smoking, and monitoring blood pressure to safeguard heart health. These strategies have been proven to effectively reduce the risk of heart problems, ensuring that individuals take necessary measures to protect themselves.
If you are worried about potential heart problems during your treatment, speaking to your doctor without delay is essential. It is crucial to evaluate the risks and benefits of treatments, especially if you have any pre-existing heart disease or other underlying health conditions. If you notice any signs or symptoms that concern you after starting hormone therapy, inform your doctor immediately. Remember that your health is paramount, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.