Hormone therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets hormones or hormone receptors in the body to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
Procedure in a Nutshell:
Hormone therapy involves using medications that either reduce the production of certain hormones in the body or block the effects of these hormones on cancer cells.
Hormone therapy is often given as a pill, but it may also be given as an injection or implant.
Hormone therapy is typically used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and prostate cancer, but it may also be used to treat other types of cancer.
Why is it needed?
Hormone therapy is needed because some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, rely on hormones to grow.
By targeting hormones or hormone receptors, hormone therapy can slow or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent the cancer from spreading.
Facts and Figures:
According to the American Cancer Society, hormone therapy is currently used to treat several types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and endometrial cancer.
Hormone therapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Hormone therapy may be used as the primary treatment for some types of cancer, or it may be used as a secondary or adjuvant treatment to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
Risks and Complications:
Like all medical procedures, hormone therapy has some risks and potential complications.
Common side effects of hormone therapy include hot flashes, fatigue, and vaginal dryness (in women).
In some cases, hormone therapy may cause more serious side effects, such as blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.
Post Operative Preparation:
After hormone therapy, the patient will need to have regular check-ups with their healthcare provider to monitor their progress and response to treatment.
The patient may experience side effects from hormone therapy, such as hot flashes, fatigue, or changes in mood, and these should be reported to their healthcare provider.
If the patient experiences any serious side effects, such as chest pain or difficulty breathing, they should seek immediate medical attention.
The patient should inform their healthcare provider of any medications, supplements, or herbs they are currently taking, as these may interact with hormone therapy.
The patient should also inform their healthcare provider of any allergies they have or any medical conditions they are currently experiencing.
The healthcare provider may order certain tests, such as blood tests or imaging scans, to assess the patient’s cancer and overall health before starting hormone therapy.
Do's, Don'ts and Precautions:
The patient should take hormone therapy medications exactly as prescribed by their healthcare provider.
The patient should inform their healthcare provider of any side effects they experience, as their medication may need to be adjusted or changed.
The patient should avoid taking any new medications, supplements, or herbs without first consulting with their healthcare provider, as these may interact with hormone therapy.
The patient should maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as this may help to reduce the risk of side effects and improve the effectiveness of hormone therapy.
The patient should inform their healthcare provider if they are planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding, as hormone therapy may affect fertility or the health of the baby.