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Testicular Cancer; weight loss and lack of energy
Nov 4, 2001

I'm a 37 yr old male who underwent a bilateral orchectomy (removal of the testicles) at age 28 for testicular cancer. I've been on testosterone injections since that time and approximately 4 years ago the physician whose care I was under also prescribed serostim because I could not maintain my body weight, had no energy, lack of sleep, etc. It has definitely improved my overall health and seems to work well in conjunction with my testosterone therapy. My insurance company is now refusing to pay for my medication and I wanted to know if you have had any experience in this area. Please provide me with your thoughts concerning this. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

It sounds like you are 9 years out from your cancer surgery; this is quite remarkable in itself. It also sounds like testosterone therapy worked for you for many, many years. Have you had your testosterone level checked recently (both free and total testosterone). Would a different formulation of testosterone help? 9 years ago injectable testosterone was certainly the way to go in terms of testosterone replacement. Recently the FDA approved testosterone gel (androgel); perhaps applying this gel daily would help more since it gives you a daily replacement dose and avoids the spikes and dips in injectable therapy. It also hurts less. As for serostim, I'm happy that it helped you and I'm sorry to hear about the insurance difficulties. You could certainly appeal your insurance decision (I imagine you may already have done so). Usually most plans have some type of review process. There may be other avenues for you to pursue. Since you asked me what I personally do for my patients, I must admit that I do not use serostim for the indication you describe. Sorry. Good luck. BD.

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