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Urol Oncol. 2005 Jan-Feb;23(1):56-64.

Promoting general health during androgen deprivation therapy (ADT): a rapid 10-step review for your patients.

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Phil F. Jenkins Director of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Department of Urology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, 48109-0330, USA.


Androgen deprivation for prostate cancer use to be applied only in the latter stage of the disease process, thus, the issue of promoting general health during this time was not a concern because the subject of life and death was more paramount. However, thanks to earlier detection of prostate cancer, there has been a general stage migration in this disease. Men are choosing these traditionally late stage therapies earlier and earlier. Therefore, the subject of quality of life on this treatment has now garnered as much attention as the survival issues. Cognitive or mental health concerns, cholesterol changes, hot flashes, osteoporosis, and other side effects are being addressed and treated with a variety of conventional medicines. However, the issue of the role of the patient or what men can do personally to promote better mental and physical health is desperately needed in this area. A variety of beneficial lifestyle changes and over-the-counter agents may have an enormous impact on men's health during androgen deprivation. Calcium and vitamin D supplements, aerobic and resistance exercise, cholesterol awareness and reduction, weight loss, and other individual changes could have an enormous impact on the quality and quantity of a man's life. Some of these so called "bottom line" recommendations are reviewed in this article to empower the patient during this time, and to send clearly the message that he has a role to play apart from just picking up and using a prescription drug for side effects, and his role is just as critical for improving the probability of living longer and better.

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