A male with nonmetastatic prostate cancer may develop a number of complications that can result in a worsening in the quality of life (QOL). Alibhai et al evaluated the impact of androgen-deprivation therapy on these patients. The authors are from University of Toronto.


Physical impact of androgen-deprivation therapy:

(1) fatigue and reduced endurance

(2) decrease in upper extremity strength, as measured by grip strength

(3) decline in physical function

(4) muscle atrophy


Other impacts:

(1) sexual dysfunction

(2) reduced bone density

(3) anemia

(4) mood disorder with anxiety and/or depression


Alibhai et al found no consistent evidence that androgen deprivation therapy significantly impacts cognitive function.


A patient starting androgen-deprivation therapy should be started on an exercise program in order to reduce the adverse effects of therapy on physical performance. This will also help to address problems with mood, which may require pharmacologic intervention.


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