Recent studies have linked androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), a common treatment for prostate cancer, to an increased risk of dementia. If you have a senior loved one who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you might want to discuss the information given here with his or her doctor.
Androgen Deprivation Therapy
Androgen deprivation therapy has been used to treat prostate cancer in men since the 1940s. ADT treats prostate cancer by reducing levels of testosterone and other androgens that cause certain prostate tumors to grow. An estimated 500,000 men in the U.S. are currently being treated with ADT.
Link Between ADT & Dementia
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the Stanford School of Medicine looked at the medical records of 10,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of those who were treated with ADT, 7.9 percent were diagnosed with dementia within five years. The likelihood of being diagnosed with dementia dropped to 3.5 percent in the men who didn’t receive ADT. A British study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested active monitoring of the tumor might be as effective as radical treatment of prostate cancer.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elderly home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Weighing the Benefits of ADT against the Risks
While the number of individuals who develop dementia from ADT therapy is relatively small, researchers say it’s a very real risk. When deciding on a plan for prostate cancer treatment, the benefits of receiving ADT must be weighed against potential risks as well as the feasibility of other treatment options. Depending on individual risk factors and possible vulnerability to dementia, doctors may want to consider alternative treatments in some men.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare Clearwater, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Advice for Seniors Receiving ADT
While ADT appears to increase the risk of all types of dementia, the study results aren’t definitive enough to warrant changing clinical care for most men with prostate cancer. Researchers are cautioning men with prostate cancer to not stop or change their medications without talking to their oncologists. They hope more studies, including prospective randomized clinical trials, will identify the exact nature of the link between ADT and dementia and detect who might be the most vulnerable.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Clearwater live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today.