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Prostate Cancer
Treatment Guide™

Treatment
Description
Prostate Cancer
Patient Profile
Prostate Cancer
Treatments
Prostate Cancer
Survival Rates
Prostate Cancer
Side Effects
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Hormone
Therapy

Prostate Hormone Therapy

Prostate hormone therapy suppresses, blocks, or eliminates testosterone to slow the tumor’s growth. Prostate Hormone
Therapy

Prostate hormone therapy suppresses, blocks, or eliminates testosterone to slow the tumor’s growth.

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Hormone Therapy Uses

Therapy can slow the tumor’s growth or lower a PSA level; it may be used before, during, or after other treatment. Hormone Therapy Uses

Therapy can slow the tumor’s growth or lower a PSA level; it may be used before, during, or after other treatment.

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Shrinking the Prostate

Surgical castration patients return home the day of the surgery. Treatment is given orally or by injection. Shrinking the Prostate

Surgical castration patients return home the day of the surgery. Treatment is given orally or by injection.

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Hormone
Therapy Effects

Hormone therapy does not destroy cancer but research has shown effectiveness in enhancing other treatments. Hormone
Therapy Effects

Hormone therapy does not destroy cancer but research has shown effectiveness in enhancing other treatments.

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Hormone Therapy
Side Effects

May cause impotence, weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, loss of muscle mass; and hormone “flare” in LHRH use. Hormone Therapy
Side Effects

May cause impotence, weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, loss of muscle mass; and hormone “flare” in LHRH use.

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Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Hormone Therapy.Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Hormone Therapy.

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Hormone Therapy
Videos

Click here to view Hormone Therapy procedures. Hormone Therapy
Videos

Click here to view Hormone Therapy procedures.

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Hormone Therapy
Experiences


Click here to share your Hormone Therapy experiences.Hormone Therapy
Experiences

Click here to share your Hormone Therapy experiences.

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Brachytherapy

Chemotherapy

Cryotherapy & Cryosurgery

Radiation
Therapy

Prostatectomy

Robotic Prostatectomy

Watchful
Waiting

Complementary
and
Alternative Medicine

High Intensity
Focused
Ultrasound (HIFU)

Emerging Technologies

 

Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy - LHRH Agonist Side Effects

In the treatment of prostate cancer, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists can cause hormone flare. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone is also written as LHRH and is the chemical released by the hypothalamus to create the hormone testosterone. LHRH is also known gonadotropin-releasing Hormone or GnRH.

Use of LHRH agonist or a GnRH agonist can cause a phenomenon called hormone flare, where the levels of testosterone spike up for a period of 7 to 10 days. For patients who are in earlier stages of prostate cancer, the hormone flare is not a problem and will not send the prostate cancer into a more aggressive growth. However, for patients who have advanced prostate cancer bone metastasis, hormone flare can be painful and even dangerous. The use of anti-androgens before LHRH agonist can prevent hormone flare.

Once the LHRH drug is inside the body, patients will usually experience some side effects from either ingesting the drug or dropping to a castration level amount of testosterone. Some less common side effects that may occur with use of LHRH agonists include:

  • fast and irregular heart beat
  • bone, muscles, and joint pain
  • fainting and fast and irregular breathing and shortness of breath
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • swelling of the eyes and the eyelids
  • skin rash or hives and itching
  • pains in the chest or tightness of chest and wheezing
  • pain in the groin or the legs, especially the calves

If these symptoms are severe, they may require consultation with a physician. Other more common symptoms that are less severe include:

  • hot flashes
  • burning, itching, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness and headaches
  • nausea and vomiting and constipation
  • gynecomastia (swelling or tenderness and pain of the breasts)
  • swelling or feet and lower legs
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased size of testicles
  • inability to maintain an erection satisfactory for intercourse
  • decrease interest in sex

There are side effects beyond those listed here that may occur with hormone therapy. Patients should pay attention to their bodies and note any changes they may want to report to a doctor. Side effects often occur with the benefits of prostate cancer hormone therapy. Side effects associated with hormone therapy may go away on their own as the body readjusts to the new agents. Patients who find the severity of side effects interferes with the enjoyment of everyday life should speak with their doctors. Prostate cancer hormone therapy is a valuable tool in halting the growth of the tumor. Doctors may encourage their patients to stay with hormone therapy to see if the body adjusts and the side effects go away, or they may want to change the medication or the therapy.

Men who undergo prostate cancer hormone therapy to ablate their testosterone may notice a change in the way facial and body hair grows. Men, however, will not turn into women, nor will they lose secondary sexual characteristics. Patients who are considering hormone therapy as a prostate cancer treatment should speak with their doctors about the advantages and disadvantages that different LHRH agonist drugs offer.

 
 
 
 

 
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