Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapies

Written by Amy Hall
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Many men are weary of prostate cancer hormone therapies, because essentially the goal is to reduce the overall amount of testosterone in the body. There are various methods of achieving this goal, but one side effect of hormone therapy is impotence. Men truly do have to think long and hard before committing to hormone therapy because the possible side effects can take their toll physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Although impotence can be the result of many benign prostate conditions, cancer treatments can render a man impotent permanently. This is a scary thought for men who are perhaps in committed relationships and do not want to give up their sexuality. Talking with a doctor can help men determine if hormone therapy is the right treatment of choice for them. Other side effects of hormone therapy can be increased breast size, lowered sex drive, and menopausal symptoms, such as mood changes, hot flashes, and sleep problems.

Hormone therapy takes on many forms, from surgery to remove the testicles to the use of luteinizing hormone-releasing agonists, which prevent the testicles from producing testosterone. In some cases, doctors recommend the use of the female hormone estrogen, which can also stop the testicles from producing testosterone. Surgery to remove the testicles is called orchiectomy, and this procedure can be very traumatic to men.

Deciding on the Best Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapies

Having to make the decision to undergo hormone therapy is no small task. It can be extremely upsetting to even think about having your testicles removed in order to stop the spread of cancer. Fortunately, there are various treatment options besides hormone therapy that you may be able to try before you resort to surgery or hormonal medications. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment methods for you.

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