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Prostate Cancer
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Hypothalamus in Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy

The hypothalamus is an organ in the brain that is responsible for the regulation of metabolism, blood sugar level, and heart beat. The hypothalamus is also connect with the pathways that conduct the sensations of pain and pleasure as well as emotions such as aggression. The hypothalamus also has a role in regulation of hormones. In the male, the hypothalamus is constantly monitoring the blood stream for adequate levels of testosterone. When the levels drop, the hypothalamus releases Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone or Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone which have the same function. GnRH and LHRH fill in receptors in the pituitary gland and the pituitary gland releases Gonadotropin or Luteinizing Hormone which tells the testicles to produce more testosterone. During prostate cancer hormone therapy, patients may undergo chemical castration, which is not the removal of the testicles but the use of an agonist or antagonist to stop GnRH or LHRH from ever communicating with the pituitary gland. Because the agonist or the antagonist interferes with the production of testosterone from the testicles, not the adrenal glands, this type of hormone therapy is essentially castration. The levels of hormones in the body will drop to castrate level and effectively stop or slow the production of prostate cancer.







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