Efficacy Of Hormonal Treatment In Prostate Cancer

In much the same way as the female sex hormones have been implicated in the incidence of breast and ovarian cancers in females, the male sex hormones have also been found to contribute in a huge way to prostate cancer risk in men. It might appear ironical how the same endocrines that are responsible for us being who we are would also be responsible for some of the worst ailments that would ever infect the reductive system. Just as breast and ovarian cancers are the most deadly malignancies of the female reproductive system, this cancerous tumor also features as the most deadly for men.

Research has established that prostate cancer cells (even though their actual cause is not known or properly understood) depend in a large way on the male androgens to grow, essentially testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone, and dihydrosterone (DHT). As such, hormone therapy, which is also referred to as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or androgen suppression therapy (AST) is usually administered to men with the goal of reducing levels of the male hormones (androgens) in the body. Lowering these androgen levels has been found in many studies to make prostate cancer cells/tumors shrink or grow a lot more slowly.

It is an unfortunate fact that hormone therapy does not cure this disease because cancers that initially respond to the treatment tend to become resistant after one to two years.

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However, hormonal therapy can be used when cancer has spread from the prostate or for men undergoing radiation therapy or surgery to help prevent a relapse of the condition.

Also, if a patient is not able to have surgery or radiation, or if it is determined that the patient cannot be cured due to metastasis; or if the prostate malignancy remains or comes back after treatment with surgery or radiation therapy , hormone treatments are as close to ideal. Hormonal therapy can also be employed to try and shrink the cancer to make other treatments more effective

A surgical castration, or orchiectomy, is a hormone treatment operation to remove the testicles that produce testosterone in men, to make the hormone unavailable for prostate cancer growth and metastasis. It usually makes most prostate kind of cancers stop growing or shrink for a time. It may cause reduced or absent libido (sexual desire) and impotence, hot flashes, growth of breast tissue, osteoporosis, and a few other side effects, but the side effects can be prevented or treated.

The use to Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs costs cost more than orcheictomy, but most men choose it because of the lesser invasiveness it offers. It lowers testosterone levels by lowering the levels of androgens made by the testicles; and it also causes hot flashes and osteoporosis, but anti-androgens for a few weeks when starting treatment with LHRH analogs can be a great deal of help.

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