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Urology/Prostate cancer and Testosterone level heritability

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Question
Dear Doctor ,
My question has a few elements and pertains to family history, prostate cancer, and testosterone levels. I am a 26 year old male, I can't complain of any ill health at the moment.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at about 45. He was told by his doctor that among many risk factors, high testosterone was a likely cause.

Contrast this with my older brother, who at 28 has, over the course of the past 6 months gained about 40 pounds and just got blood work back indicating his testosterone was quite low, 120 ng/dL.

> I am curious where this puts me. In college I decided to eat vegan for reasons chiefly related to hopefully lowering my chances of ever developing prostate cancer as I saw how terribly it took my father's life. So, in a way I thought I was all set not to worry. I am trim and by all qualitative/layman's measures quite healthy, but I am left wondering if I ought to get my testosterone blood levels checked as well. I suppose I am also wondering to what extent testosterone levels are heritable, their relation to prostate cancer risk, etc...

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

Best,

Harmon

Answer
Harmon

While it is thought that persistently elevated levels of testosterone might contribute to the development of prostate cancer, this is not the only factor. With a strong family history of.prostate cancer you are better.off checking your PSA level sfartin AF age 40. I would not bother checking testosterone levels as there isn't much you can do regardless.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.

Experience

Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

Organizations
American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Publications
Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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