What is hormonal therapy?
Hormonal therapy is the use of hormones (substances in our body produced by an organ or gland) to trigger an increase in function or activity of another body part, or increase release of another hormone. Hormones are used in certain cancers that respond to stimulation of specific hormones. They may be used in cancers of the breast, cervix, kidney, skin (malignant melanoma), ovary, and prostate.
Why is hormonal therapy used in cancer patients?
- Some cancers are dependent upon the presence of specific hormones/substances in our body to survive and grow
- Use of a specific hormone blocks the production or effects of the hormones that are associated with a particular cancer
Why are there side effects when someone receives hormonal therapy?
Hormones stimulate or cause overproduction of certain substances in the body. Side effects can occur as a result.
What are the most common side effects of hormonal therapy?
- Decreased sexual desire
- Hot flashes
- Increased blood sugar/diabetes
- Swelling from fluid retention
- Weight gain