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Controversies with testosterone therapy
Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
Aug  2020 (Vol.  27, Issue  43, Pages( 20 - 23)
PMID: 32875998


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    Over the past decade, there have been concerns with safety of testosterone therapy (TTh) in hypogonadal men. Several concerns have centered on the use of TTh and its potential link to cardiovascular (CV) events, prostate cancer, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There has also been controversy in determining which patients are appropriate candidates for TTh and if lifestyle modification has any role in improving serum testosterone values in hypogonadal men.


    A literature review of all articles assessing testosterone and the use of TTh and the association with CV events, prostate cancer, BPH and lifestyle modification was conducted.


    Majority of patients treated with TTh today are treated off-label. Low serum testosterone levels have been associated with increased CV events. Currently, there is inconclusive evidence to support that TTh increases the risk of CV events. There is an absence of evidence linking TTh to the development of prostate cancer or worsening of BPH symptoms. Finally, lifestyle modification, such as decreasing weight and improving sleep, can improve serum testosterone levels in hypogonadal men.


    Clinicians prescribing testosterone should be aware of the current controversies associated with TTh. The current literature does not suggest that there is a significant risk with TTh and prostate cancer, worsening of BPH symptoms or CV events. However, more studies, including randomized placebo-controlled trials, are needed. Finally, patients should be counseled appropriately regarding the indications for TTh and the benefits of lifestyle modification prior to initiating TTh.