Testosterone Replacement – A Preventative Approach to Prostate Cancer
As part of Movember and our focus on men’s health we asked our GP, Dr Butterworth, to talk to us about how decreasing testosterone levels in men as they age affects health, as well as his approach to prostate cancer prevention.
Dr Edward Butterworth joined the Elevate CBD clinic this year and brings a wealth of medical knowledge. One area of particular expertise is in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT) for men and women.
A male’s reproductive organ is the prostate and a female’s is the uterus, which despite looking rather different, are both embryologically similar. This explains why the prostate has receptors for the female hormone, oestrogen.
Naturally, there is a decline in the testosterone in men when they enter their fifth decade. This is evidenced by a loss of:
- body hair initially from the outer leg
- lean muscle mass
This reduction in testosterone levels triggers the prostate’s oestrogen receptors in the prostate tissue, causing its enlargement. As the organ is located at the base of the pelvis, the prostate grows one of two ways:
- upwards, which weakens bladder control; or
- inwards, which reduces urine flow
However, more serious is the danger of the prevalence of growths which can form in later life and which may turn into cancer.
All of these factors may be alleviated with the appropriate use of bio-identical male testosterone replacement, which, according to Dr Butterworth, is safe, effective and will not cause cancer.
Bio-identical means that the hormones used, although derived from wild yam or soy, are modified to have identical molecular structure to human hormones, thus being natural to the body.
Dr Butterworth explains, however, that there are some precautions before taking this approach. Prior to treatment, you need to rule out the presence of existing cancer or potential risk of cancer through blood tests and rectal examination. Then, when using the testosterone cream, it is important to include a substance called an anti-aromatiser which prevents the testosterone supplement from converting to oestrogen.
There is now a higher rate of prostate cancer than breast cancer in the community with one cause being an increase of oestrogen-acting substances in the food chain. So, as a preventative effort, Dr Butterworth’s research suggests that increasing the testosterone levels of a younger man by using a bio-identical topical testosterone cream may lead to the prevention of prostate growth. When well-monitored, using a testosterone replacement can help maintain a younger body chemistry and, most importantly, help prevent prostate cancer.
If you would like to know more about this treatment, you can make an appointment with Dr Butterworth online HERE or call 02 9252 225.
Lee, J. What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer, 2002.
Stanworth, R. & Jones, T., Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice, 2008.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Prostate Cancer Statistics in Australia in 2017, 2017.