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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
Therapy News View Procedures Share Your Experience

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 Side Effects – Combined Androgen Blockade

The prostate cancer treatment that merges castration with anti-androgens is called combined androgen blockade (CAB). The use of anti-androgens a few weeks before LHRH agonists are started has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of hormone flare that can be painfully dangerous for patients with distant bone metastasis.

Anti-androgens can also be used after surgical or medical castration stops being effective. There is some controversy surrounding whether or not combined androgen blockade is more effective than using either an anti-androgen or a form of castration for the treatment of prostate cancer. There are a few studies that indicate using anti-androgens as monotherapy may be slightly less effective than medical or surgical castration as monotherapy. Other studies found no difference in the survival rates of people who had used only one form of treatment.

When using monotherapy, such as only chemical castration, a patient will not necessarily experience all the possible side effects. In combination with an anti- androgen, however, the chance of experiencing more side effects and more severe side effects is dramatically increased.

The data supporting the use of combine androgen blockade is controversial, so patients who wish to avoid the many side effects associated with combined androgen blockade, may first wish to consider monotherapy. The use of an anti-androgen a few weeks before beginning the LHRH agonist, continues to be an effective therapy for patients who need to avoid hormone flare.

Some common side effects of surgical and medical castration include:

  • gynecomastia (tenderness and growth of the breasts)
  • a general increase of body fat
  • a decrease of muscle mass
  • hot flashes
  • trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • osteoporosis
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • dizziness and headaches
  • impotence or decreased desire for sex
  • disturbances in vision

For a full listing of the side effects associated with surgical castration and medical castration, please see the other Hormone Therapy Side Effects Sections.

Some common side effects that are associated with the use of anti-androgens include:

  • urinary side effects
  • decreased desire for sex
  • gynecomastia (tenderness and swelling of the breasts)
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • flu-like symptoms (including headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting)
  • vision disturbances
  • urinary side effects

For a full listing of all the side effects associated with the use of an anti-androgens, please see the Prostate Hormone Therapy Side Effects – Anti-androgens section which will contain a full listing of the associated side effects.

Patients may experience side effects that are not listed in the Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide. Patients who are using combine androgen blockade as their prostate cancer should be alert for any side effects that could be attributed to hormone therapy. Patients who are interested in starting combined androgen should speak to their doctors or a prostate cancer nursing specialist about whether combined androgen blockade is the right choice for their prostate cancer treatment.

 
 
 
 

 
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