New research propose that men with abnormally low levels of testosterone are less likely to grow prostate cancer in their existence.
The new study was conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and the findings were presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference, held in Liverpool, U.K.
To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that scientists have inspected how low levels of testosterone affect the risk of prostate cancer.
Their analysis is also the largest study of the connection between hormones and prostate cancer to have ever been conducted.
Prostate cancer affects more than 170,000 men each year in the United States, which almost 30,000 die from the disease.
While it is yet unknown what causes the condition, researchers have establish a number of risk factors, such as age, ethnicity, and genetic mutations.
Male hormones, or androgens, such as testosterone are known to support tumor cell growth in men with prostate cancer.
Reducing or blocking testosterone levels in the body is the quality treatment for prostate cancer because androgens assist the prostate cancer cells to grow.
The so-called androgen saturation model suggests that in order to grow, prostate tissue — whether malignant or benign needs just enough testosterone for the androgen receptors to be soaked.
However, after the saturation point has been attain, any further growth in testosterone does not lead to an additional increase in prostate tissue or cancer tumor growth.
As the writers of the new study explain, Because the saturation point is thought to be low, until now there have been inadequate potential data available to test this theory.”
So, the team prepare to fill this research gap by testing the theory in more than 19,000 men.
The researchers inspect 20 prospective studies including more than 19,000 men, 6,933 of whom had prostate cancer and 12,088 of whom were examined as healthy controls.
Those that take part were aged between 34 and 76 years old, and their blood was collected for analysis between 1959 and 2004.
The researchers grouped the men into 10 places according to their testosterone level.
These ranged from those with the lowest blood levels of the androgen to those with the highest.
Then, prostate cancer risk was calculated using conditional logistic regression methods.
As predicted, men in the lowest testosterone group were greatly less likely to have prostate cancer.
In fact, they had a 20 percent reduced probability of developing the disease.
Surprisingly, however, the study also found that if these men do end up developing the disease, they are 65 percent more likely to have an hostile form of the condition.
In the other nine groups of differ testosterone levels, the researchers found no link with prostate cancer risk.
Source: Medical News Today