… Continued …
For instance, if you have early stage of prostate cancer and there is risk for the cancer might begin to spread, the use of main treatments for cancer such as surgery or radiation therapy can provide healing (the treatment has better chance to cure the cancer).
Then after treatment, you may need to take hormone treatment if there is a high risk for the cancer to return. But if it is at low risk of returning, your doctor may not suggest taking hormone therapy!
The cancer is more likely to come back if:
- It has high level of Gleason score. This variable is to measure the appearance of the cancerous cells. The more likely they are to look like normal cells, the lower Gleason score – and vice versa!
- The PSA level! PSA itself stands for prostate specific antigen. The higher level of PSA is commonly thought as the more aggressive of prostate cancer.
- And how far the cancerous cells have spread. If they have grown through the capsule (the covering of the prostate), there is high risk for the removed cancerous cells to come back.
These factors and the side effects that you experience after the treatment can have an effect on how intense and how long you should take hormone treatment.
Generally, it is often used along with radiation therapy. It can be used before, during, or after taking radiation therapy.
However, sometime it may also be used after surgery. Even there is also a chance for doctor to use it alone to treat prostate cancer. For example, it is used alone if the cancerous cells have spread too far.
If they have spread to the distinct organ such as bones, surgery to remove the cancerous cells can be difficult and not effective. For this case, hormone treatment with /without radiotherapy is often a common choice of the treatment.
Several decades ago, orchidectomy is used to eliminate the production of testosterone in men with prostate cancer. It is a kind of surgery to remove the testicles, the place where testosterone is produced.
But today, orchidectomy is rarely used. Most doctors now tend to choose using hormone therapy to modify or reduce the testosterone production.
Orchidectomy is usually the priority choice when there is an urgent requirement to lower testosterone. For instance, lowering testosterone urgently may be required when the cancer is pressing the spinal cord.
In addition, there are several choices of medicines to help lower testosterone in hormone therapy for prostate cancer. And each type can lead to some different side effects, as noted before. These include: Zytiga (Abiraterone), Anti-androgens, GnRH (Gonadotrophin releasing hormone) blockers, and LH (Luteinising hormone) blockers – discuss with your doctor for more advice!