Hormone Therapy, also known as endocrine therapy or hormonal therapy or hormone treatment, is a type of systemic therapy that stops or slows down the growth of cancer cells by blocking, adding or removing the hormones from the body. Some types of medications can also be taken in the hormone therapy that stops the production of the hormones or can interfere with the activity of the hormone. The surgical removal of the gland can also be done as this gland is responsible for producing the hormones. Hormone therapies can also be given after chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer for reducing the chances of the cancer coming back. Some of the cancers that are hormone sensitive include -
Hormone therapy is categorized into different types that include -
Womb Cancer Hormone Therapy : The activity and growth of the cells lining the womb can get affected by the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. Hormone progesterone is given for shrinking the larger womb cancers or for treating the recurring womb cancer. Megestrol (Megace) and Medroxyprogesterone acetate are considered as the different types of progesterone treatment.
Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy: The goal of the hormone therapy is to stop or slow down the growth of the cancer and also to stop or reduce the body making testosterone. Anti-androgens and pituitary down regulators are the different types of hormone therapy.
Breast Cancer Hormone Therapy: Breast cancers are affected by the female hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. Breast cancers are either named as progesterone receptor positive or estrogen receptor positive and sometimes both. The hormone therapy prevents the entering of these female hormones into the breast cancer cells. Pituitary down regulators, Aromatase inhibitors and Tamoxifen are the different types of hormone therapies for treating breast cancer.
When the levels of progesterone and estrogen drop considerably in some women then hormone replacement therapy is given. The aim of this therapy is to replace the female hormones that are not produced after menopause.
The estrogen is responsible for regulating moisture of the vagina and it also maintains skin temperature and bone density. Some of the symptoms can be seen when there is a drop in the estrogen level that include -