If you're being treated for prostate cancer, don't be surprised to see new warnings on some of the meds you may be taking. Lupron, Zolodex and others have been linked to a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but it doesn't mean you should stop taking the drugs.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration on Thursday asked manufacturers of a family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH agonists, to add the new information as a safety precaution after studying the drug risks since May. Check out the Los Angeles Times story that explains how these testosterone suppressors work in combating cancer.
The warning serves as a cue to doctors to evaluate each patient's individual risk, but not to stop them from prescribing the drugs. What does this mean for patients who are considering this treatment? "Before receiving GnRH agonists, tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes, heart disease, a previous heart attack or stroke, or any cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cigarette smoking," the warning reads in part.
Prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer for men after lung cancer. An estimated 217,730 new cases will be diagnosed this year and 32,050 men will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Learn more about the risks and symptoms of prostate cancer at HealthKey.
—Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times