For men who suffer from prostate cancer, there are many factors to consider in terms of treatment options. Because prostate cancer must be dealt with aggressively, diagnosing the complication early may provide for a more effective treatment plan without the need for surgery. Using the male androgen hormones, hormone therapies have been designed to manipulate the functions of the testicles, prostate and adrenal glands, providing for fewer surgical interventions.
The classification of male hormones is commonly referred to as androgens. Of the androgens, testosterone is the most prevalent, produced in the testicles and adrenal glands. In normal and healthy boys, the androgen hormones provide men with the appropriate growth and development, including changes in voice tone and development of hair. In addition to growth and development, and androgens are responsible for maintaining and producing a healthy prostate gland.
In men, hormone therapy is becoming increasingly more common for use in the complications associated with the prostate, especially in prostate cancer. While surgery is very effective and resolving most forms of prostate cancer, when coupled with chemotherapy, the use of hormone therapy is commonly added to further destroy, or inhibit growth, of these cancer cells as they spread through the body.
When considering hormone replacement therapy, men with prostate cancer may utilize the hormone replacement known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone therapy. Because some forms of prostate cancer affect the testicles, requiring removal of the testicles by castration, some men with opt for the use of LHRH therapy as an alternative. Because LHRH stops the production of testosterone, it ultimately will stop the function of the testicles as well. While LHRH comes with many disadvantages, men who opt for its use instead of surgery are, at least, given an opportunity to reverse the effects of LHRH when it is discontinued; unlike surgery which is a life altering and irreversible decision in treatment of prostate cancer.
Antiandrogen therapy may also be effective at stopping the production of testosterone, thereby providing an opportunity to avoid the need for testicular surgery while treating for prostate cancer. While a very costly alternative to surgery and other hormone therapy treatments for men, antiandrogen therapy is also reversible, leaving many men opting for this decision as well.
If you are a man suffering from prostate cancer and the many decisions associated with treatment, it is important to understand the importance of hormone replacement therapy and hormone therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer, often used in lieu of surgery. When coupled with chemotherapy, hormone therapy in men has shown to be an effective alternative for some forms of prostate cancer.