Scientists from the Philippine General Hospital in Manila say that in a study of 74 men being treated for prostate cancer, 42 percent of those receiving androgen deprivation therapy developed type 2 diabetes, compared to 19 percent of men not receiving the treatment.
In androgen deprivation therapy, prostate cancer patients receive a hormone that blocks the production of androgens, powerful male hormones that are known agents in the production of prostate cancer cells. The therapy has numerous side effects, which can include erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, weight gain, fatigue, decreased penis size, and depression. It has also been suspected to be a factor in the onset of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The Filipino study’s findings, delivered at ENDO 2011, the 93rd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, tracked 74 prostate cancer patients over a six-year period, from 2004 to 2010. Thirty-eight of the patients were receiving androgen deprivation therapy, while 36 were not. Both groups, according to researchers, had similar risk profiles for type 2 diabetes.
In addition to having more than double the risk of developing type 2, the hormone therapy group also had a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, the cluster of conditions that is often the precursor to the onset of diabetes.