Hormone Therapy


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What Is Hormone Therapy ?

hormone-therapy-treatment_clip_image001Produced mainly in the testicles, the male hormone testosterone causes prostate cancer cells to grow. Reducing testosterone levels can make the prostate cancer shrink and become less active.

The goal of hormone therapy is to lower the level of male hormones in the body, particularly testosterone. Hormone therapy does not cure the cancer and is often used to treat persons whose cancer has spread or recurred after treatment. Most studies show that hormone therapy works better if it is started early.

Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, is beneficial to both men and women. It is the process of replacing the hormones that your body needs to function optimally and which decline in all of us as we age. Natural Hormones, such as our human growth hormone HGH and our testosterone are molecule by molecule exactly the same hormones present in the human body which can be replaced as your own hormones begin to decline.

Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) is one of the most extensively studied medical treatments and a great deal of information is known about the benefits of HRT.The major benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy are;reduced risk of developing osteoporosis, bone breakageand colon cancer. Improvement of mood and overall sense of mental well-being in women.Decreased tooth loss.

Choosing whether or not to use Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy is an important health decision. The Women’s Health Initiative and other studies are providing important information about the risks and benefits of long-term menopausal hormone therapy to offer women some guidance about hormone use.

What Is The Purpose Of The WHI Study On Combination Hormone Therapy?

The long-term studies in the WHI were initiated because over the years a number of research studies presented a complicated picture of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, and its continued use for prevention of cardiovascular diseases was controversial. This situation led the NIH to conduct a large clinical trial of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy. The WHI set out to examine the long-term effect of estrogen plus progestin on the prevention of heart disease and hip fractures, while monitoring for possible increases in risk for breast and colon cancer. The estrogen plus progestin regimen was given to women who have a uterus since progestin is known to protect against endometrial cancer, a known effect of unopposed estrogen. A separate study of estrogen alone in women who had a hysterectomy was also begun.

What Are Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy ?

As each person’s individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his/her reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss with your cancer care team any/all possible side effects of treatment before the treatment begins.

Possible Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Include The Following:

  • Hot Flashes
  • A Degree Of Impotence (Inability To Achieve Or Maintain An Erection)
  • Diminished Libido (Desire For Sex)
  • Enlargement Of The Breasts

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What Is The Duration Of Hormone Therapy ?

The duration of hormone therapy varies, but usually lasts a period of a few months, depending on the individual situation. Research presented at the 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting suggests that long-term hormone therapy (an additional two years) for those men who have locally advanced prostate cancer may control the disease better than short-term hormone therapy. Always consult your physician for more information regarding hormone therapy treatment.

Benefits of Hormone Therapy :

Hormone therapy relieves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, interrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and reduced sex drive. It can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis and increase bone density. If estrogen is started within a few years of menopause, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and colorectal cancer.

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