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Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Patients is Linked to Depression, Says New Study

Update Date: Apr 12, 2016 06:53 AM EDT

A new study published by scientists on April 11 claims that men who are approaching their senior years and are diagnosed with prostate cancer are at risk of experiencing depression. The therapy for suppressing testosterone is what experts are saying that could increase this possibility.

In an article published by UPI, this study was made using more than 78,000 American men who were under treatment for prostate cancer. Scientists discovered that 7% of those patients experienced being clinically depressed after just a few years of undergoing hormone-suppressing therapy.

This research that can be originally viewed via the Journal of Clinical Oncology doesn't exactly state that the said hormone therapy was the culprit for depression in men with prostate cancer. However, they found some strong evidence linking both these diseases with each other.

The head researcher for this project, Dr. Paul Nguyen, said that there are also other things that his team has documented that could contribute to depression. One of them was the cancer stage of the person, his age and even his educational background. Those things were not ruled out in being a possible cause of depression for prostate cancer patients. Dr. Nguyen added that the more these patients are exposed to hormone therapy, the risk of them being depressed goes higher as well.

Another study related to this has also shown the same result. Dr. Mayer Fisherman from Moffitt Cancer, in Miami, concluded the same thing when it comes to hormone therapy and its association with depression. "What I like about this study is that it's large, and it puts a number on the risk," Dr. Fisherman explained.

The New York Times also shared this report saying that Dr. Nguyen has some valid points to the possible link between prostate cancer and depression. "It could be a direct effect of reduced testosterone levels on mood," the senior author of this study said. "But there could also be indirect effects."

The more they study about this issue, the more they see things about the downside of using hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients. On the bright side, prostate cancer is not exactly one of those cancers that easily metastasize. In fact, some men could even have just the "low-risk" type of prostate cancer.

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