Hormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Different types of treatment are available for patients with prostate cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.

A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Hormone treatment for prostate cancer is primarily used if prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate. It does not cure cancer. The purpose of hormone therapy is first to delay the progression of the cancer, and second, to increase survival while maximizing quality of life. If a patient doesn’t respond to initial hormone treatment, a doctor may try other hormonal methods before recommending chemotherapy.

In order to know about Hormone treatment for prostate cancer, one should have knowledge that the male hormones (also called androgens) are important for prostate growth – a fact which has been known for over 50 years. Indeed the normal development of the prostate to its adult form is very dependent on testosterone, the principal male hormone released from the testicles. Men rely on normal levels of male hormones to have adult sexual function and fertility. The level of male hormone in the body is precisely controlled by several factors, the main one being the normal secretion of stimulatory hormones from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland in the brain.

Physicians normally use Hormone treatment for prostate cancer to slow the spread or growth of prostate cancer. Additional indication for hormonal deprivation therapy is shrinkage of the prostate gland prior to the primary therapy. A doctor will also suggest hormonal deprivation therapy when prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland to other parts of the body. Men whose cancer has returned after radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy are also candidates for hormonal therapy. A doctor may also use the treatment to shrink the prostate gland before brachytherapy or cryotherapy treatment.

Hormone treatment for prostate cancer can be given in many ways. Injections or pills are one method. Drugs can stop the testicles from producing testosterone and protect cells from any other androgens that remain in the body. Hormone medications may include:

· The use of various Hormone treatments for prostate cancer such as estrogen to counter the effects of testosterone.

· The use of drugs that lower testosterone levels or block the activity of male hormones in the body. These include antiandrogen agents, lutenizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs, or agonists.

· The use of combined Hormone treatment for prostate cancer that decreases testosterone production from the testicles as well as from glands located on the kidneys, called adrenal glands, that produce hormones.

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