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Prostate Cancer Survivors have Increased Risk of Death from other Diseases, Study Says

Update Date: Feb 11, 2016 09:31 AM EST

Men who survive prostate cancer have a higher risk of death from other diseases, a new study is reporting.

"No one is simply a prostate or a heart, and the treatments we use to treat one illness or another can dramatically affect the well-being of other parts of a patient," said Dr. Alicia Morgans, an assistant professor of medicine at the University reported in a press release.

For this study, the research team at Vanderbilt University set out to examine the link between prostate cancer treatment, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and risk of heart disease or events.

They created an "ABCDE" algorithm to analyze a patient's risk of developing heart disease. The algorithm accounted for lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and smoking, as well as physical health factors, such as, blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring, and diabetes. The team also factored in use of aspirin and patients' awareness of their risks.

The researchers found that although ADT was effective in treating prostate cancer patients, the therapy increased men's risk of severe cardiovascular events and cardiovascular disease.

"While ADT therapy is of great benefit to many patients with prostate cancer, it may also increase the risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack or stroke," said Dr. Eric Shinohara, medical director of the Vanderbilt Radiation Oncology Clinic, reported by Medical Xpress.

Senior author Javid Moslehi added, "Aggressive treatment of these altered cardiovascular risk factors can be an important step to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients treated with ADT. In general, cardiovascular wellness is an important aspect of care for all of the nearly 230,000 men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the U.S."

The study was published in the journal, Circulation.

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