Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hypogonadism (Decreased Hormones) in Male Lymphoma Patients After Chemo

From "J"

One lymphoma-related male issue is that of hypogonadism, where the testes produce decreased or no hormones.

In a paper in the British Journal of Cancer (2009), a group in Norway found (I'm trusting my memory here so be warned the details may not be exact but the principle is) that about 40% of men over 50 treated for lymphoma were hypogonadal. This can be a late side-effect. They compared patients with and without radiation.

I had been having hot flashes and fatigue and thought my thyroid was messed up. My primary care physician is an endocrinologist and correctly identified the problem. Testosterone levels were running on fumes. Admittedly the seminal article (pun intended) from Norway which had large numbers had just been published. I hope oncologists are checking testosterone levels in men post chemo for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you are only borderline low you'll have to fight with your insurance company but citing the BJC article may help. -- "J", non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
A Response From
Dr. Dan Silverman

Thanks for shining a light on the problem of endocrine hypogonadism that is, unfortunately, not uncommon among men who have been treated for lymphoma.
As you have indicated, men who are over 50 years old are especially vulnerable to it, suffering from this condition about five times more
frequently than survivors under 40, as reported by the Norwegian group in the British Journal of Cancer article you mentioned.  A more recent study by the same group, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December, has found that the blood endocrine lab abnormalities also correlate with impaired sexual function, so someone experiencing such symptoms should overcome any reluctance he may have to bring them to the attention of his physician.

1 comment:

  1. I assume this is meant for people who use traditional CHOP or other chemo therapies. Has anyone looked at the endocrine effects of a person treated for indolent follicular lymphoma with a Rituxan monotherapy regime?