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The Link between Prostate Cancer and Low Free Testosterone

Men with low free testosterone levels have a 23% reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to those with higher levels. Analyzed data from 20 studies also showed that very low concentration prostate cancer risk didn’t change with the high levels of testosterone. The research suggested that these men with abnormally low testosterone levels are not likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

The researchers were investigating the link between hormones and prostate cancer. The risk factors for prostate cancer age, genetic mutations, ethnicity and much more. The male hormones such as testosterone are known for promoting the growth of tumor cells in men who have prostate cancer. The level of testosterone can only be lowered or blocked to stop the cancer from spreading.

The androgen saturation model suggests that for prostate tissue to grow, it needs enough testosterone for the androgen receptors to be saturated – whether benign or malignant. After reaching the saturation point, a further increase in testosterone does not increase the prostate tissue or the growth of cancer tumor.

A research team wanted to test the theory as follows:

  • They grouped men in 10 categories according to the level of their testosterone – from those with the lowest blood levels of the androgen to those who had the highest levels.
  • The risk of prostate cancer was calculated using logistic regression methods that were conditional. The results showed that men in the group with low testosterone were less likely to develop prostate cancer. They had a 20% reduced likelihood of developing the disease.
  • The study also observed that in case the men ended up developing the disease, they have a 65% chance of having an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
  • The other nine groups with varied testosterone levels were found with no association with the risk of prostate cancer.

The role of testosterone in the development of prostate cancer has provoked a debate for a long time but now researchers are able to understand what causes cancer of the prostate. Now they know how cancer develops and progresses. These results will help them to develop an approach that will help in minimizing the risk of men developing prostate cancer. They will also help to discover ways to diagnose and treat advanced prostate cancers before they do any harm.