Prostate cancer patients treated with gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists (GnRH-a) have significantly lower bone mineral density (BMD) at almost all skeletal sites compared with both healthy controls and those not receiving hormones.
The study compared 60 men with prostate cancer with 197 healthy controls. Nineteen of the cancer patients had received hormone therapy. The total BMD and BMD at selected sites were significantly lower in the hormone treated group compared with the others, and there was a significant association between the duration of hormone therapy and reduction in total BMD.
The authors comment that, in treating men with hormonal therapy earlier and for longer periods of time, doctors are creating a menopause equivalent condition, causing severe osteoporosis a disease that may have more serious consequences than early stage prostate cancer (J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2001; 86: 2787- 91).