A  A  A   Print
What to Know About Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

What to Know About Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Hormone treatment is one way to treat prostate cancer. It does not cure it.

Male hormones are called androgens. The main androgens are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Prostate cancer cells usually need male hormones to grow. The goal of hormone treatment is to lower the amount of hormones that your body produces or to stop the cancer cells from using them, which may slow or stop the growth of the cancer for some time. 

Your doctor may suggest hormone treatment if one of the cases below is true for you:

  • You have early-stage prostate cancer and you can't have surgery or radiation. And you don't want to do watchful waiting. (Although many doctors do not advise hormone therapy in this setting because it has not been proven to be helpful.) 

  • You're planning to have surgery or radiation treatment. Having hormone treatment before other treatments can sometimes help shrink the tumor. A smaller tumor is easier to treat.

  • You have prostate cancer that is locally advanced--it has grown outside of the prostate and is therefore less likely to be cured with local treatments, such as surgery or radiation. Combining radiation and hormone therapy in these cases has been shown to be better than local treatment alone.

  • You have a tumor that has spread beyond your prostate to distant parts of your body.

  • You've had a rise in your PSA level after you've had surgery or radiation, and the doctor isn't sure where the cancer has recurred or it has recurred in a distant part of the body. Hormone treatment can help slow the growth of the cancer if it is coming back.

Most prostate cancers are sensitive to hormones. However, some patients may not respond to the hormone therapy, or their cancer stops responding to the hormone therapy and becomes resistant over time. Switching the type of hormone therapy can often provide a benefit for a time, but eventually other types of treatment may need to be tried.  

 
Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.