Hormone Therapy – Types, Uses, and Side Effects
Hormones refer to chemicals made by body glands, such as ovaries and testicles. Hormones are known to aid the growth of some cancer cells. Cancers such as breast and prostate cancers are sensitive to various hormones; therefore, hormone treatment may help slow down these cancer cells’ growth or stop it completely.
This article defines the various hormone treatment types at the Crosspoint Medical Clinic and their possible side effects.
How the Treatment Works
Hormone treatment targets cancers and body conditions that are dependent on various body hormones. Your doctor may first conduct a hormone receptor test on a developing tumour for details about the tumour. It also helps to determine the best treatment for you.
The test measures the number of hormone receptors in the cancer cells. Naturally made body hormones like estrogen and progesterone attach to these receptors, assisting cancer cells’ growth.
If the test comes out positive, it means the hormones probably enhance the growth of cancer cells. Here, hormone treatment is necessary. A negative test means that hormones do not alter the cancer cells’ growth. Always discuss with your therapist about the hormone receptor test results.
Different types of hormone therapies work differently. They can:
- Stop the production of a particular hormone
- Block a particular hormone from attaching to the cancer cells
- Alter the functioning of a specific hormone, so it functions abnormally.
Types of Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy at the family health clinic in Cypress, TX, 77433, is categorized into two broad types.
- Cancer Treatment – Hormone treatment reduces the risk of cancer returning or slowing its growth. Some cancers that are hormone-sensitive include breast cancer, prostate cancer, adrenal cancer, and uterus cancer.
- Ease Symptoms – Hormone treatment helps to reduce the severity of certain body disorders and cancers. It can reduce prostate cancer’s effects in men who cannot get surgery or radiation treatment. It also helps to control the symptoms that come with the menopause period.
While menopause is not a disease, Hormone therapy can help regain the lost hormones during the fertility period. The menopause period comes with many symptoms like vagina dryness, urinary problems, sleep problems, mood changes, bone thinning, night sweats, and more.
Hormone therapy helps manage most of these symptoms and assist in muscle function, minimize the risk of heart failure, and prevent skin ageing. Women around the menopause period can also use hormone treatments for weight loss.
Getting the Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy treatment is administered in the following ways.
- Oral Drugs
These are drugs swallowed by the mouth in the form of pills, capsules, or medical liquids. You mostly take them at home. The dosage frequency depends on the types of drugs given and the type of cancer in treatment.
Dr. Smitha Mantha administers injectable drugs to the arm, leg or thighs, and are termed intramuscular (IM) injections. There are also subcutaneous injections given under the belly skin. The frequency of medication depends on the type of condition being treated.
You can get the injection at your doctor’s office or have the doctor give instructions on how to give the injections yourself.
This usually is a surgery to remove hormone-producing organs like ovaries and testicles. This is a good option for men with prostate cancer who prefer hormone treatment to other methods. An oophorectomy is a surgery to remove the ovaries, a good choice for treating breast cancer.
The advantage of surgical treatment is that the hormone treatments before and after results are high quality, and you do not need long-term medication treatment. However, the treatment is permanent; once done, it can’t be reversed.
- What Are The Side Effects?
Side effects vary with different patents, the type of hormone therapy, and more. Knowing the possible side effects is vital when deciding the kind of treatment. It would be best if you also balanced the possible side effects and benefits of the treatment. Ask the treatment team about the hormone treatments before and after info before beginning.
Men getting treatment for prostate cancer may get the following side effects.
- Hot flashes
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Bone loss and high risk of bone fractures
- Low muscle mass and increased belly fat
- Memory issues
- High risk for heart problems
Women getting hormone treatment for breast and uterus cancer may experience:
- Hot flashes
- Painful muscles and joints
- Bone loss and high fracture risk
- Low sexual desire
- Vaginal discharge and dryness