Dementia tied to hormone-blocking prostate cancer treatment

July 05, 2019 - 1:20 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Alzheimer's disease may be a risk for older prostate cancer patients given hormone-blocking treatment.

That's according to a large, U.S. government-funded analysis published Friday.

Previous evidence has been mixed on whether the treatment might be linked with mental decline. But experts say the new results stand out because they're from a respected national cancer database and the long follow-up was eight years on average.

Among 154,000 older U.S. patients, 13% who received hormone-blocking treatment developed Alzheimer's, compared with 9% who had other treatment or chose no therapy.

Dementia from strokes and other causes was diagnosed in 22% of patients who got hormone-blocking treatment, versus 16% of the other patients.

The results aren't proof but experts say they underscore the importance of discussing potential risks and benefits when choosing cancer treatment.

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