New information about a possible bad side effect of hormone therapy (ADT) for men with prostate cancer was just published and it is frightening for men on hormone therapy (ADT). The findings are a result of a joint study conducted by researchers at Penn University Medicine with researchers from Stanford University. What is it that is so frightening? ADT can be harmful to our brains, it increases our risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease! So, now we get attacked both between our legs and in our head!

The researchers reviewed a very large number of medical records and the outcome was surprising and stunning! They found that men who receive ADT were at an 88 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s! The risk factor was more than doubled in men who were on ADT for more than a year! We know that ADT can extend a life and increases our risk for developing cardiovascular problems. We all also know that it makes us feel stupid, hot, and cold and it makes us lose our body hair. ADT makes our bones ache, lose muscle mass etc., but now we have an additional very serious side effect. By taking advantage of ADT drugs to treat our prostate cancer we put ourselves at a very large increased risk of falling prey to this devastating and deadly disease. When is it going to end?

Clearly, testosterone is bad for prostate cancer, but it is good for the brain. Prostate cancer wants testosterone our brain needs testosterone. Our depriving our brain of testosterone increases our risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Our neurons need to be kept healthy; depriving them of testosterone makes them become unhealthy.

All medications come with risks, ADT has many, but now it has a new and very big risk!

What does this mean, should we not take ADT? This is an excellent question. Clearly, when thinking about starting or staying on hormone therapy this additional risk factor needs to be factored into our decision.

*J Clin Oncol*. 2015. Published online December 7, 2015.