Testosterone therapy and cancer risks among men in the SEER-Medicare linked database

Eboneé N Butler, Cindy Ke Zhou, Michael Curry, Úna McMenamin, Christopher Cardwell, Marie C Bradley, Barry I Graubard, Michael B Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined associations between two forms of testosterone therapy (TT) and risks of seven cancers among men. SEER-Medicare combines cancer registry data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results programme with Medicare claims. Our population-based case-control study included incident cancer cases diagnosed between 1992-2015: prostate (n = 130,713), lung (n = 105,466), colorectal (n = 56,433), bladder (n = 38,873), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 17,854), melanoma (n = 14,241), and oesophageal (n = 9116). We selected 100,000 controls from a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries and used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). TT was associated with lower risk of distant-stage prostate cancer (injection/implantation OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.60-0.86; topical OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.24-1.03). We also observed inverse associations for distant-stage colorectal cancer (injection/implantation OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.62-0.90; topical OR = 0.11, 95% CI: 0.05-0.24). Risks of distant-stage colorectal and prostate cancers decreased with time after initiating TT by injection/implantation. By contrast, TT was positively associated with distant-stage melanoma (injection/implantation OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.37-2.11). TT was not associated with bladder cancer, oesophageal cancer, lung cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. TT was inversely associated with distant-stage prostate and colorectal cancers but was positively associated with distant-stage melanoma. These observations may suggest an aetiologic role for TT or the presence of residual confounding.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Early online date28 Oct 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 28 Oct 2022


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