Conversations With Prostate Cancer Experts

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Heart Disease + Hormonal Therapy

In February, Prostatepedia spoke with Dr. Mark Moyad about heart disease + hormonal therapy.

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How much of a problem is cardiovascular disease in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer?

Dr. Mark Moyad: It’s arguably the number one cause of death in prostate cancer patients. It’s the quiet elephant in the room. Men have to be as concerned about cardiovascular disease as they are with their prostate cancer diagnosis.

Do some prostate cancer treatments, like hormonal therapy, increase the risk of cardiac disease?

Dr. Moyad: Whenever people ask me that, I almost always say it doesn’t matter. Because we already know that cardiovascular disease going into Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) is the number one cause of death in men.

So even if ADT doesn’t increase risk, I’m already going to treat that patient as if he were at high risk for a cardiovascular event. I’m still going treat this person as if he’s just as likely to die of a cardiac event.

You have to think heart-healthy as much as ADT-healthy before the first injection. It doesn’t mean we’re downplaying the prostate cancer. It means that life is a game of probability, so in order to beat the odds you need to do everything possible to reduce your cardiac risk to zero. If you do that, it takes care of all the other business that you’re worried about.