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Prostate Cancer
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Agonists and Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy

An agonist is a chemical agent which mimics the action of a naturally-occurring chemical. When used as a hormone therapy in prostate cancer treatment, the specific agonist used is called GnRH agonist or LHRH agonist. The hormone that the LHRH agonist is mimicking is called LHRH. In this form of prostate cancer treatment, the LHRH agonist enters the receptors of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland begins to make LH which tells the testicles to begin producing more hormones. The result is called tumor flare which is a spike in the body’s level of testosterone which lasts 7 to 10 days. Tumor flare can be extremely painful and even dangerous for prostate cancer patients with bone metastasis. After the flare, the levels of testosterone in the body will drop to castrate levels because the LHRH agonist continues to occupy the receptors.

For prostate cancer patients without bone metastasis, LHRH agonists are good choices for hormone therapy. The tumor flare will not turn cause the disease to become more aggres



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