In this health video learn how some men experience memory loss and elevated cholesterol levels from prostate cancer treatments. A therapy designed to treat menopausal symptoms is being shown to lessen these side effects.
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Jennifer Matthews: Tom Denhart has prostate cancer. For nine years, he received shots to suppress the male hormone testosterone and keep the cancer from growing. But those shots had side effects including fatigue and memory loss. Tom Denhart: For a while there, people were really starting to wonder about me because I would just totally space out. Things, you know, I'd say, 'I'll see you on Tuesday at 3:00' and forget. Jennifer Matthews: But then a new therapy -- estrogen patches -- changed all that. In a small study, the patches controlled the cancer, improved memory and more. Dr. Tomasz Beer: Not only did cholesterol, overall, improve, but the bad cholesterol, LDL, went down substantially, while the good cholesterol went up. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Tomasz Beer conducted the study and says the results are encouraing, but more research is needed. Dr. Tomasz Beer: We really need to convince ourselves that the patch approach is safer, and larger studies are needed before we can recommend it for routine use. Jennifer Matthews: The patches also have side effects including breast enlargement and weight gain, but tom says the trade-offs were worth it. Tom Denhart: Of the nine years, that was the one period where I feel like I suddenly realized what it was like to feel kind of normal, and I told the doctor, I said, 'You know, I can't believe how good I feel.' Jennifer Matthews: If the results are confirmed, there could be another advantage for patients. The patches cost less than the shots. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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