Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Increase Depression Risk

Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Increase Depression Risk
Depression can be a common side effect of  androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) used to treat localized prostate cancer, according to a study, “Association of Androgen Deprivation Therapy With Depression in Localized Prostate Cancer,” published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Locally advanced prostate cancer patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), an antihormone therapy, and radiation therapy are known to have improved survival rates. But mounting evidence also shows that ADT use can have extensive adverse effects, including metabolic, cardiovascular, bone, and cognitive problems. ADT is also suspected of negatively impact mood, causing depression. "We know that patients on hormone therapy often experience decreased sexual function, weight gain and have less energy — many factors that could lead to depression. After taking a deeper look, we discovered a significant association between men being treated with ADT for PCa [prostate cancer] and depression," Paul Nguyen, MD, the study's senior author and the director of Prostate Brachytherapy at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in a news release. "This is a completely under-recognized phenomenon. Around 50,000 men are treated with this therapy each year. It's important not only for patients to know the potential side effects of the drugs they're taking, but also for the physicians to be aware of this risk in order to recognize signs of depression in these patients and refer them for appropriate care." Researchers identified 78,552 men over age 65 treated for stage 2 to 3 prostate cancer from 1992 to 2006, using the SEER Medicare-linked database (excluding those with psychiatric diagnoses). The association between pharmacologic ADT and depression diagnosis or receipt of outpa
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