One in four men over the age of 30 has low testosterone in America, with symptoms including a lack of libido, depression, and erectile dysfunction. Studies have shown that African American men have a 15% higher testosterone level than white males, though as a whole, testosterone levels have been declining in American.
According to a 2017 JAMA report, testosterone therapy among American men is more popular than ever, with prescriptions more than doubling from 2010 to 2013 alone. If you are an African American male who is receiving testosterone therapy, you may wonder whether or not it could raise your prostate cancer risk. A new study has delved into the matter, with scientists finding that testosterone therapy is, in fact, safe from this perspective.
Testosterone Therapy does Not Increase Likelihood of Prostate Cancer
The study, carried out at the New York University School of Medicine, found that men who had been taking testosterone therapy for more than a year had no overall increased chance of developing prostate cancer. Moreover, they actually had a 50% lower chance of getting aggressive prostate cancer. The scientists noted that much of the myth surrounding the effect of testosterone therapy has to do with the fact that in the case of advanced prostate cancer, medication is given to decrease male hormones. They stated that when used as prescribed, testosterone therapy did not have a negative effect on cancer risks and was suitable for improve libido and mood.
Testosterone Therapy Grows in Popularity
Testosterone therapy has been growing in popularity over the past decade. It is given in various forms, including orally, via gel, and through injections. The range of conditions it is used for is vast, and includes tiredness, increases in body fat, and depression. Studies have also shown that this therapy can correct anemia (low red blood cell counts) and increase bone density. This is important since despite the fact that osteoporosis and osteopenia (low bone density) are more prevalent in women, statistics show that one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime owing to weak bones. In African Americans, the fracture risk from osteoporosis is 50% less than in whites but fractures in African Americans are still considered significant from a public health stance.
An Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer in African-American Men
African Americans have the highest prostate cancer rate in the world, and nearly double that of whites in the U.S. The earliest diagnoses occur in middle age. The American Cancer Society recommends that you talk to your doctor at around the age of 45, or as early as 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Early diagnosis is key to ensure successful treatment outcomes.
Because black men in the U.S. have an increased prostate cancer risk, there has been some concern regarding the possible effect of testosterone therapy on this risk. Recent research indicates that the concerns are unfounded. Whether or not you are receiving hormone replacement therapy, make sure to talk with your doctor about early screening, which is key if you are to stop any existing cancer from progressing.