Summary— Cardiovascular complications in patients with carcinoma of the prostate have been studied in relation to 3 methods of treatment, namely stilboestrol, estramustine phosphate (Estracyt) and bilateral orchiectomy. One hundred and sixteen patients were studied over a 4-year period on a prospective basis, 48 being treated with stilboestrol, 31 with estramustine and 37 with bilateral orchiectomy. The incidence of the cardiovascular side effects of these 3 treatment regimes in the first year of treatment was recorded after the patients had been divided into those with localised (MO) disease and advanced disease with metastases (Ml).
In patients treated with stilboestrol 29% had cardiovascular complications with a mortality rate of 1 6%. With estramustine 25% had complications with a 1 6% mortality rate, but with orchiectomy the complication rate was only 8% with a 3% mortality rate. It is recommended that stilboestrol and estramustine phosphate should not be used in the presence of cardiovascular disease and that the primary form of treatment in prostatic carcinoma should be bilateral orchiectomy, especially in patients with localised disease.