Your Health: Dec. 20, 1999

GOOD NEWS

A SURER CURE As horrific as it sounds, castration may be the best way to prolong the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer. A small but significant study shows that men whose cancer has spread to their lymph nodes are five times as likely to survive if they're castrated--chemically, with medication, or surgically, by removing the testes--soon after the prostate gland is removed. Most doctors hold off, sometimes for years, in part because of the heavy consequences: libido usually plummets, and many men experience hot flashes, muscle loss and fatigue. These may be a small price to pay...

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