Prostate Cancer Treatment Hormone Therapy
It doesn’t matter whether you are specifically interested in early hormone therapy radiation for prostate cancer or hormone treatment for prostate cancer, this article provides lots of information about prostate cancer and hormone therapy treatment to help you.
You see, hormone or hormonal therapy is the use of hormones in medical treatment, in which case treatment with hormone antagonists may be referred to as hormonal therapy as well. Also called androgen deprivation or androgen suppression therapy, hormone treatments seek to remove, block, or add hormones to treat prostate cancer in patients suffering from the disorder.
Hormones are chemical substances produced by endocrine glands in the body that enter the bloodstream and affect other tissues. Certain hormones contribute to sexual functions and characteristics in human beings, and the male endocrine, testosterone, has been found in men to contribute to the growth of prostate cancer. Of course scientists still do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer, and no, they don’t think it’s the hormones; however, the hormones being there is like providing food for the tumors to feed on so that they can grow and spread. Removing the hormone therefore is an effort to starve them.
To this end, hormone therapy works toward stopping the body’s production of the implicated hormones in prostate cancer proliferation. The actual hormone required for the growth and metastasis of prostate cancer cells is DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, which is secreted through the action of testosterone (from the testicles) and dehydrosterone from the adrenal glands. If this procedure is interrupted, DHT cannot be produced and the cancer will have no fuel to spread.
One form of prostate cancer treatment hormone therefore works by surgically removing the testicles so that testosterone cannot be produced. This procedure is called orchiectomy. Another method is by administering drugs to the patient that are able to stop him from producing the critical endocrines chemotherapeutically. Gonadotropine-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists or antagonists work rather simply in tune with this principle. The antagonist suppress the production of LH (luteinizing hormone), which is important in DHT secretion, while the antagonist force the body to produce so much more of it that the production breaks down after a while.
Once the DHT level in the body drops, prostate cancer cells are no longer able to effectively grow so their progression usually stops and the tumor even starts to shrink. For the most part, it appears as though hormonal therapy does not cure prostate cancer because after a while of administering the treatment, the cancer usually adapts and resumes growth. For this reason, hormone treatments often have to be backed by radiotherapy or surgery.
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