Prostate cancer hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is a kind of prostate cancer treatment, it is also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)( androgen suppression therapy). The main purpose of the androgen deprivation therapy is to reduce the testosterone level. (See. Testosterone test)

Purpose, why the androgen suppression therapy is done?

Main androgen hormone “testosterone” and most of the other male hormones are produced by testicles and a little amount is produced by adrenal glands. Testosterone and the related male hormones stimulate the prostate cancer cells to grow. Hormone therapy is done to stop testosterone production or to prevent testosterone to reach to the prostate cancer cells. Hormone therapy may be permanent or temporary.

How the androgen deprivation therapy is done?

There are some different methods in ADT. Injection and oral medication is the mostly used hormone therapy methods. These medications stop testosterone production in testicles and stop other androgen hormone production in adrenal glands and remove their effects on prostate cancer cells.

Also orchiectomy is an surgical method for androgen deprivation therapy. Testicles are removed by surgery and this is an irreversible method. Main testosterone source testicles are removed by this method.

When the hormone therapy is used ( androgen deprivation therapy)?

  • Hormone therapy may be used to support surgical treatment
  • ADT may be used for the patients who don’t want to receive other treatment methods.
  • Hormone therapy (ADT) commonly used if the prostate cancer has spread too far to be treated by radiation therapy or surgery
  • Androgen deprivation therapy is used if prostate cancer has relapsed after radiation therapy or surgery
  • ADT may be done before to  support  radiation therapy to increase its effectiveness by reducing the hormone levels
  • Hormone therapy can’t treat the prostate cancer alone but main purpose is to reduce the prostate cancer progression and increase the patient’s life quality.
  • prostate cancer hormone therapySide effects of androgen deprivation therapy ( ADT)

    • Lowered libido; reduced sexual desire
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Gynecomastia; enlargement and tenderness in breasts in some kind of hormone therapy
    • Hot flashes
    • Loss of bone density
    • Osteoporosis
    • Bone fractures
    • Anemia
    • Loss of muscle mass
    • Weight gain
    • Joint pain
    • Fatigue
    • Mood swings
    • Changes in blood lipids and blood glucose measurements, increased blood cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Loss of mental sharpness

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