May 10, 2020
We’ve written about the ongoing war on men previously when we discussed the psychological fallacy known as “toxic masculinity.” The American Psychological Association is not only discouraging healthy heterosexual relationships between men and women, but is also insinuating that masculinity is a disorder. They use words like “heteronormative” and “traditional masculinity” to encourage meek, submissive behavior in men. Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, the COVID-19 pandemic has added fuel to this fire.
Dr. Andrea Alimonti, an oncologist at Università della Svizzera Italiana in Bellinzona, Switzerland, is promoting “androgen-deprivation treatment” (ADT) to stop men from contracting coronavirus. He was lead researcher on a study of 4,532 Italian men who were receiving treatment for prostate cancer. The study, published last week in the journal Annals of Oncology, concluded that lowering testosterone in men protects them from COVID-19. It also lowers the risk of death due to COVID-19, according to the study.
Alimonti said there are several way to decrease testosterone in men to protect them from COVID-19. Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone, or LH-RH, is said to decrease testosterone in men within 48 hours. Alimonti said the treatments are “transient” and do not cause any long-term health issues. He said testosterone levels return to normal when the treatments stop “if given for no more than one month.” He continued in a press release:
“I hope that our findings inspire other clinicians to carry out clinical trials using transient ADT in men infected with COVID-19, in addition to other experimental therapies. Although these data need to be further validated in additional large cohorts of patients with COVID-19, they provide an answer to the hypothesis that androgen levels can facilitate coronavirus infections and increase the severity of symptoms, as has been seen in male patients.”
Doctors, social commentators skeptical of the treatment
Dr. Anthony D’Amico of Harvard Medical School is skeptical of the findings. He told U.S. News and World Report that other factors likely influenced why prostate patients were less likely to become infected with COVID-19. He said there is no immunosuppression in prostate patients, unlike with other kinds of cancer. He also said cancer patients are more likely to contract COVID-19 since they make frequent trips outside of their homes for treatments. Dr. D’Amico called the study “interesting,” but said they are far too many confounding variables to take the study at face value.
Dr. Manish Vira of Northwell Cancer Institute in New York, said no man should be asking for testosterone-reduction therapies to treat or prevent COVID-19. He also said ADT causes many side effects, including loss of muscle mass, bone density, hot flashes, and cardiovascular issues. It’s much more complex than someone taking baby aspirin daily to prevent blood clotting and lowering the risk of heart attacks, he said.
The comments on social media and websites covering the treatment were mostly negative. One Reddit user said he would rather not be “chemically castrated” in the name of COVID-19. Another user said ADT is just another part of the agenda to create an androgynous society.
You can read the entire press release here.