Testosterone deficiency affects male cancer survivors' quality of life

Feb 22, 2010

A new study has found that many male cancer survivors who develop testosterone deficiency after receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy have an impaired quality of life and reduced energy levels. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study suggests that young male cancer survivors with testosterone deficiency may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.

Testosterone deficiency is a late side effect of and that occurs in approximately 15 percent of male cancer survivors. Investigators led by Professor Richard Ross, MD, FRCP, of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom examined the relationship between levels, quality of life, self-esteem, fatigue and in 176 young male cancer survivors compared with 213 young men without cancer.

Young male cancer survivors said they experienced a marked impairment in quality of life, as well as reduced energy levels and quality of sexual function. These experiences were exacerbated in survivors with testosterone deficiency. Psychological distress was not elevated, self-esteem was normal, and sexual relationships were not impaired in male cancer survivors, however.

Professor Ross commented: "This is an important study demonstrating that low testosterone levels are common in male cancer survivors and associated with an impaired quality of life. However, the relationship between testosterone levels and quality of life is complex and appears to depend on a threshold level rather than on a direct correlation. We now need interventional trials with testosterone to determine which young male cancer survivors will benefit from replacement therapy."

Explore further: Americans undergo colonoscopies too often, study finds

More information: "Quality of life, self-esteem, fatigue and sexual function in young men after cancer: a controlled cross-sectional study." Diana M. Greenfield, Stephen J. Walters, Robert E. Coleman, Barry W. Hancock, John A. Snowden, Stephen M. Shalet, Leonard R. DeRogatis, Richard J.M. Ross. Cancer; Published Online: February 22, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24898).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Partners of cancer survivors at risk for depression

Apr 07, 2007

A new study shows that partners of cancer survivors are susceptible to the same stresses as cancer survivors themselves over the long term, and in some cases, suffer more quality of life-related effects than survivors. The ...

Cialis aids prostate cancer sex function

Oct 02, 2006

Dutch scientists say they have found a drug usually prescribed for erectile dysfunction in men increases the sexual function of prostate cancer survivors.

Recommended for you

Americans undergo colonoscopies too often, study finds

18 minutes ago

Colonoscopies are a very valuable procedure by which to screen for the presence of colorectal cancer. However, it seems that healthy Americans who do undergo this sometimes uncomfortable examination often ...

User comments : 0