The Testosterone model is the oldest theory in medicine as to what causes prostate cancer. Although it doesn’t stand up to scientific facts, it is still something today’s doctors frequently rely on, and still something my patients will frequently ask about.
This model states that testosterone causes prostate cancer. However, the unsupportive reality that drives against this theory reveals that prostate cancer is much more prevalent in men with low testosterone. Young boys (who obviously have plenty of testosterone) almost never get prostate cancer, and older men (with declining levels of testosterone) encounter this disease much more. Some have tried to attribute these facts with the possibility that exposure to testosterone over time causes prostate cancer. Again, this theory doesn’t stand up because prostate cells only live for about 500 days, which means they don’t stay around long enough to accrue any long-standing exposure to androgens. This theory also doesn’t explain how testosterone can be used as an effective tool in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Dr. Edward Friedman, author of “The New Testosterone Treatment – How you and Your Doctor Can Fight Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, & Alzheimer’s,” provides a nice explanation that compares the potential impact of testosterone on prostate cancer:
“Oxygen is necessary to start a fire,
but no one would argue that oxygen causes fires.
If it did, then the sky, which is 21% oxygen, would always be burning.
Similarly, if testosterone caused prostate cancer,
Then all teenage males would have the disease since they have the highest levels of testosterone.”
Dr. Friedman also elaborates greatly on the details of why our current models for the cause of prostate cancer simply don’t stand up to the facts we now have from current research. It has been proven that there are other elements (not just testosterone) that are necessary for prostate cancer to form (such as estrogen, DHT, and even specific hormone receptors).
Previous medical research has yielded some wonderful information to us. And we have been able to stand on this information and evolve concepts – and thus elevations in medical care – to new levels of understanding. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, if done appropriately, can have many wonderful protective benefits.
If you or a loved one have questions or concerns regarding the safety of hormone replacement, please consult with a practitioner who is knowledgeable in this area and is able to assess your individual risk factors and address all aspects of treatment. You can give us a call at 916.351.9355 to find out how we can help you.
“First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true,
but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that
its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.” ~ William James
Dr. Karla Alberts, ND