April 30, 2014 3:58 pm

Ask the Pros- Dr. Kris Gast

Posted in: Ask the Pros

Q: My testosterone level is in the low range.  Should I take a testosterone replacement? What are the side effects?


A: A male’s testosterone level peaks in early adulthood and begins to drop by 1% a year according to the Mayo Clinic. Men with low levels of testosterone could benefit from replacement treatment.  However, the side effects of such treatment include an increased risk of cardiac disease, kidney disease, acne, sleep apnea, enlarging breasts, and shrinking testicles.  Testosterone replacement can also increase one’s risk of developing prostate cancer. This past January, the FDA announced plans to investigate the use of the treatment because of reports of stroke, heart attacks, and death in men who used the replacement.  When considering taking the replacement, please consult with your doctor and decide what is best for you.


Q: What determines how many radiation treatments are given?


A:.  Many factors help determine how many radiation treatments patients will receive for a cancer diagnosis.  The type and stage of the cancer are the first and most important factors to evaluate.  Next, since overall health plays a vital role in determining the treatment plan, a patient’s ability to tolerate the standard treatment regimen must be decided.  Another practical issue to consider as a factor involves travel constraints for patients living far distances from treatment centers.  As with all medical treatments, radiation treatment plans for patients should be individualized and customized to their specific cases.



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