Confirming a belief of many of us, new research has found that hormone therapy (endocrine therapy or ADT) is associated with a very large increased risk of developing various major heart problems. This research also tells us that some therapy options have a higher risk profile than others.

At Europe’s biggest cancer congress, ECCO 15 – ESMO 34, in Berlin on Sept. 22, researchers shared their study findings (the largest and most comprehensive study to date) on the effect that ADT has on heart problems. The study found that ADT has a very significant effect on heart health; to the degree, they are urging doctors to consider heart-related side effects when they prescribe endocrine therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer. The effects can be so significant they urge men be referred to a cardiologist before starting treatment!

In the past, some small studies have found that some types of hormone therapy increase the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks while others have found no increased risk. This study is by far the largest to investigate how different regimes of ADT affect a wide range of heart problems. The study provides a detailed picture of the impact of each sort of hormone therapy on individual types of heart trouble.

“If we have observed a causative effect, then for all hormone therapies put together, we estimate that compared with what’s normal in the general population, about 10 extra ischemic heart disease events a year will appear for every 1,000 prostate cancer patients treated with