Hormone Therapy

What is Hormone Therapy?

Hormone therapy is a cancer treatment that slows or stops the growth of cancers that rely on hormones to grow. 

Hormone therapy is also referred to as hormone treatment, endocrine therapy, or hormonal therapy.

Hormones are proteins or chemicals the body produces that regulate the function of specific types of cells. Examples are estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, cortisol, adrenaline, and insulin. 

Hormone therapy is used for malignancies that use hormones to increase: prostate, adrenal, thyroid, uterine, and breast cancers.  



How Does Hormone Therapy Work?

Hormone therapy searches the entire body for targets hormones.

Hormone therapy works in different ways:

  • Stop the body’s hormone production 
  • Block the hormone from attaching to cancer cells
  • Alter the hormone so it doesn’t work as it should
  • Stopping or slowing tumor growth
  • Lessen cancer symptoms 


How Long is Hormone Therapy?

This treatment is often taken for around five years or in conjunction with other pharmacological pills and medicines. 

Depending on the type of cancer, some patients may require years of hormone therapy, while others, such as those with prostate cancer, may require less.


Hormone Therapy Side Effects

· Decreased sexual desire

· Fatigue

· Weight gain

· Memory problems

· Strokes

· Blood clots

· Heart attacks





What Factors will my Hormone Therapy Plan consist of?

Many factors influence the type of hormone therapy prescribed, as well as the dosage and frequency with which individuals take it; for example:

• The sort of cancer that one may have

• The stage of cancer (stage 1 to 4)

• The likelihood of cancer recurring, sometimes known as a recurrence

• The sort of cancer therapy the patient is currently on

• Potential side effects being experienced (in other words, how poorly or strongly the body is reacting)

• Whether or not menopause has been reached (for female cancer patients)


The American Cancer Society best explains Hormonal Therapy in the YouTube video below, and it also answers some of the most common questions that individuals with cancer have regarding Hormonal Therapy:


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