Gynecomastia in men with prostate cancer
Les Winnick posted the following to a list on 12/1/00:
An 8-page article on breast enlargement appeared in Urology magazine of November, 2000 pp 713-720 on breast enlargement. [Title, "Gynecomastia in patients with prostate cancer: a review of treatment options& by McLeod and Iversen.] It was significant in what it didn't say: There is nothing in medicine today to reduce this condition.
At first, the authors explain the reason for the growth and then state "processes that are usually irreversible." There are no methods for defining and grading this condition. This includes breast tenderness, breast and nipple pain and the course of the condition. It can be caused as a side effect of drug treatment, chronic disease (liver disease due to alcohol abuse) or a tumor.
Most of the report deals with various prostate cancer treatments that are associated with gynecomastia. Basically it "is caused by an increase on the ratio of estrogen to androgen activity."
Three forms of treatment have been used: radiation, surgery and medical therapy.
Small radiation studies have shown a decrease in breast pain, but no breast size changes.
Mastectomy removes glandular tissue, and in one study, 91% of the 62 patients stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied. Medical therapy discusses the use of antiestrogens, androgens, aromatase inhibitors and danazol and a pilot study is under way.
The article goes into detail of the various hormone treatments for PC and suggest that irradition pretreatment effectively prevents gynecomastia in most patients.
As a user of PC SPES, I felt that I was alone in this problem. I hate to admit it, but it was comforting to know that all the "medical" treatments had the same effect on the breasts as my herbs. Yet, I do not recall it being advertised as a side effect of hormone therapy or radiation treatment.
If you want additional information, go to your hospital library for the publication. I'll live with my enlarged breasts rather than a high PSA.
[To read a short dialogue that ensued, click here.]