Hormone Therapy, Side Effects And Management

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is gaining grounds in the are of clinical research

Hormone therapy or hormonal therapy is the usage of hormones in medical treatment. Treatment with hormone antagonists might also be referred to as hormonal therapy or anti hormone therapy.

The general classes of hormone therapy are carcinogenic hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy, of which there are various kinds (e.g., for menopause,wither male of female or for sex change).

Hormone therapy is a type of systemic therapy that functions to add, block or remove hormones from the body to slow or halt the growth of cancer cells. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), they use hormone therapy to fight various forms of cancer alongside Integrative Oncology Services to fight the side effects.

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers and are produced in the endocrine glands, which include glands such as the pancreas, thyroid, ovaries in women and testicles in men. Hormones can influence the growth of some cancers, such as breast and prostate. But, in some cases, they can kill, slow or halt the growth of cancer cells.

Hormone therapy generally involves taking medicines that prevent cancer cells from getting the growth hormones. In some cases, the physician may surgically remove the gland responsible for hormone production. The physicians may use hormone therapy in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemo and radiation therapy.

CTCA clinicians work in concert to give all possible treatment options. The care team would consider hormone therapy as a treatment option if one is diagnosed with breast, prostate, ovarian or thyroid cancers. Several factors influence the type of hormone therapy one might receive, including the age, type and size of the tumor, and the presence of any hormone receptors on the tumor.

Patients are at the center of treatment decisions at CTCA. They understand there are many factors that might influence the treatment option they choose, such as any desire to have children. They listens to the patients and work as a team to develop a treatment plan that could meet individual needs.

General side effects of hormone therapy

The side effects might depend on the type of hormone therapy being administered. Only generalized side effects are mentioned here. More information about the side effects of specific hormone therapies can be obtained in the specific drugs section.

General side effects include

  • Tiredness

  • Digestive system problems

  • Menopausal symptoms

  • Hair thinning

  • Effects on your muscles and bones

  • Weight gain

  • Headaches

  • Memory problems

  • Mood swings and depression

  • Blood clots

Side effects management

Some hormone therapies can cause many side effects, depending on the type of cancer involved. For example, breast cancer patients may experience dryness and irritation, hot flashes, vaginal discharge, decreased sex drive; and mood changes.

Prostate cancer patients might experience reduced ability to achieve an erection or orgasm. Aromatase inhibitors also can cause joint and muscle pain, and an increased risk of bone thinning i.e. osteoporosis.

Throughout the entire treatment, the patient would be provided integrative oncology services to help combat these side effects. Nutrition therapy,naturopathic medicine,mind-body medicine and spiritual support can help reduce side effects, as well as improve the overall quality of life.

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