Prostate Hormone Therapy Treatment

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Hormonal therapy in prostate cancer treatment uses medications or surgery to block prostate cancer cells from getting a hormone produced in the prostate gland called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a byproduct of testosterone in the male reproductive system; one that is required for the growth and spread of most prostate cancer cells. By blocking DHT in this manner, the prostate cancer cells often stop growing and may even start to shrink.

The objective of hormone or hormonal therapy for prostate cancer is to target the pathways through which the body produces DHT. This is a complex process that involves several organs of the male reproductive system, which include the testicles, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary, adrenal, and prostate glands. Together they control the blood levels of DHT first by producing the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone, which further stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone. The testosterone so produced joins up with dehydroepiandrosterone from the adrenal glands to stimulate the prostate to produce more DHT. Hormonal therapy essentially interrupts this process at any point whatsoever.

One form of hormone therapy for prostrate cancer treatment is orchiectomy. This is also adequately called castration because it is a surgery to remove the testicles that produce the testosterone in the first place. Once the testicles are gone, testosterone levels drop so that no DHT can be produced, and there isn’t enough of it to transform into DHT.

Another form of prostate cancer and new hormone therapy treatment uses antiandrogens, medications like flutamide, bicalutamide, nilutamide, and cyproterone acetate, which I am certain you must have heard of at least. They directly block the actions of testosterone and DHT within prostate cancer cells. Other medications block the production of adrenal androgens, often used in combination with each other because some attack the adrenal gland’s production of androgens while the others deal with the tentacles. Examples of such medications are ketoconazole and aminoglutethimide, and the process is called TAB ? total androgen blockage.

GnRH antagonists suppress the production of LH directly; and GnRH agonists suppress LH by downregulation, initially causing a raise in its production, and then a drastic drop. Examples are abarelix and lupron respectively.

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