Testosterone makes prostates grow larger and makes prostate cancer grow more quickly.
I came across a study that looks at prostate size and testosterone levels:
Relationship between Serum Testosterone and Measures of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in Aging Men – Abstract
In our study, the serum testosterone levels in aging men did not correlate with the measures of BPH, including prostate volume and IPSS, regardless of whether total, free, or bioavailable testosterone was used. Age correlated with the measures of BPH, especially prostate volume. Additional large studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.
To my surprise, patients with higher testosterone levels did not have larger prostates. As expected, patients with higher PSAs and older patients had larger prostates.
I recently saw a patient who had been biopsied by another urologist, found to have cancer and sent to a second urologist for evaluation for surgery. That second urologist does not do robotic prostatectomies and did not mention the option. He was also put off by the size of the prostate as estimated by ultrasound at the time of biopsy, 172 cc’s. (A normal prostate in a man in his 20s might measure 25 cc’s +/- and a volume of 50-100 cc’s is not uncommon in men in the age range of 50-70 that constitute the majority of cancer patients being considered for radical surgery.) The second urologist recommended open surgery, but only after at least 4 months treatment with hormone deprivation (blocking the production of testosterone) to shrink the prostate. He gave him a shot to accomplish reduction (leuprolide) and planned to see him back in 4 months. The patient is now experiencing the side effects of the shot, hot flashes and progressive erectile dysfunction, while he waits for his surgery. Is this necessary?