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Can Boosting Testosterone Actually Fight Prostate Cancer?
Testosterone is the manliest of hormones. Both men and women have testosterone, but men have about ten to twelve times as much of the male sex hormone as women do. Testosterone is associated with muscle growth, sex drive, energy levels, emotional and psychological wellbeing, and more. Anabolic steroids—a synthetic form a testosterone—and testosterone boosting supplements have been popular with bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts and athletes for decades (even if they are not always legal). Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has become popular with older men who wish to feel young and vigorous again. Unfortunately, for many years, testosterone was also linked to a serious illness affecting millions of men around the world: prostate cancer.
For many years, doctors and researchers had concluded that high testosterone levels were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and could exacerbate it in men who had already been diagnosed. Their solution was to treat men to reduce their levels in hopes of slowing the progression of the cancer. But new research shows that raising testosterone may actually help beat this all-too-common affliction.
Boosting Your T Levels May Give You An Edge Against Prostate Cancer
The Telegraph recently ran a story about a man who had been cured of prostate cancer. The cause? Mega dosing on testosterone.
Sound far-fetched? There is pretty solid evidence to suggest scientists may have found a potent, yet very unexpected, method for treating one of the most serious forms of cancer among men.
Up until very recently, the conventional wisdom regarding the treatment of prostate cancer has been that testosterone levels in men who are affected should be reduced. This is because the cancerous cells use the male sex hormone as “fuel” to grow.
It seems logical that depriving the cancer of the fuel it uses to expand would stop the spread of the cancer. But a new study from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center showed precisely the opposite. In what was described in an article on johnshopkins.org as a “paradox,” researchers found that dramatically boosting testosterone levels in patients with advanced prostate cancer actually appeared to suppress the cancer.
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Dr. Samuel Denmeade, a medical oncologist at Johns Hopkins, led a study involving 16 men with advanced prostate cancer to determine if taking a different approach to testosterone levels played any role in affecting the outcome. Previously, it was thought that raising testosterone levels in men already diagnosed with prostate cancer would simply make it worse. Dr. Denmeade gave the volunteers high doses of testosterone via injection every 28 days to observe the effects. They were also injected with a special serum that halted the body’s natural production of testosterone, so as not to interfere with the effects of the therapy.
Amazingly, the testosterone injections appeared to “shock” the tumors into stopping their growth. Researchers tested the patients and found that their blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), one of the markers associated with the disease, fell in most of the patients as well.
The majority of participants had stable conditions that had not worsened after one year. One man may have actually been cured of prostate cancer through this unorthodox new treatment.
“I think we may have cured one man whose PSA dropped to zero after three months and has remained so now for 22 cycles,” commented Dr. Denmeade. “His disease has all [but] disappeared.”
So What Does This Mean For You?
If you have prostate cancer, or suspect that you might, DO NOT begin treating yourself by taking steroids, supplements, or other drugs to boost your testosterone on your own. Cancer is not the kind of thing to causally mess around with; it is imperative that you work with a doctor.
The research from Johns Hopkins is promising and very exciting, but it is still very new science. Much more research needs to be done. Plus, the scientists who carried out the study aren’t 100 percent clear on why this actually works. The timing of the treatments seems to play a significant role, and if you try to self-administer treatments at the wrong time, it could make it worse. Leave your treatment to the professionals.
READ ALSO: Can Garlic Protect You From Cancer?
In the meantime, this new study offers hope for a powerful new treatment for millions of men around the world and their loved ones. Stay tuned to see how this develops.