For many years it has been thought that testosterone fuels prostate cancer and should be avoided at all costs regardless of a man’s symptoms of low libido, lack of energy and a decrease in muscle mass, just to name a few of the symptoms of low T.
Low testosterone levels predict an increased likelihood of high-grade prostate cancer being found as a result of a prostate biopsy.
A South Korean team studied 681 men who underwent an initial 12-core transrectal prostate biopsy. Of these, 86 had low testosterone levels (less than 300 ng/dL) and 143 had normal levels (300 ng/dL or higher). In addition, 143 men had a positive biopsy and 99 had high-grade prostate cancer.
Compared with a normal testosterone level, a low testosterone level was not significantly associated with a prostate cancer diagnosis overall, but it was associated with a significant 2.1 times increased risk for high-grade prostate cancer.
Bottom Line: Low testosterone level is an independent risk factor for high-grade prostate cancer detection at biopsy. Therefore, checking testosterone levels could help to determine whether prostate biopsy should be carried out.
Park J et al. BJU Int. 2015;doi:10.1111/bju.13206.