According to a an article published in the January 2012 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, estrogen may play a role in Melanoma recurrences!

The article described a large cohort study of women who were put on an anti-estrogen therapy. The study concluded that those women on the anti-estrogen therapy had a lower risk of melanoma.

About the Study:

• It included 7,360 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1980 and 2005.

• Fifty four percent (54% ) of the women were given supplemental anti-estrogen therapy.

• The surprise finding was that the rate of melanoma was 60% higher for those women not taking anti-estrogen supplements compared with the expected rate of melanoma incidence based on age and other factors.

What is the take home concern about this study for men with advanced prostate cancer?

• Those of us who become castrate resistant normally should consider a second line hormone therapy, however, many of these possible therapies can include an estrogen basis. Clearly, those of us who also have a history of Melanoma should give hard and serous consideration to this study prior to embarking on an estrogen based treatment (patches, DES etc.).

• Those of us advanced prostate cancer survivors who have not had melanoma should also consider the possible risk of developing melanoma. This is especially true of men who have a family history of melanoma.

Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.