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What are the benefits of hormone therapy for prostate cancer?

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Quick Answer

The benefits of hormone therapy for prostate cancer include slowed tumor growth and alleviation of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. It may also reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

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Full Answer

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer, also known as androgen deprivation therapy, is a cancer treatment in which the growth of prostate cancer cells is disrupted by denying them the testosterone hormone, which is responsible for their growth, explains Mayo Clinic. This leads to the death of cancer cells or a reduction in their growth rate. The therapy involves different methods, including the use of medications and the removal of the testicles through surgery.

The medications that cause the body to stop producing testosterone are referred to as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists and antagonists, and they include leuprolide, triptorelin, histrelin and goserelin, notes Mayo Clinic. Drugs that deny the testosterone hormone access to prostate cancer cells are called antiandrogens and include flutamide, bicalutamide and nilutamide. Contrary to the surgical removal of the testicles, medication therapy for prostate cancer is not permanent. An individual should discuss a suitable therapy option with a doctor in advance.

Although hormone therapy for prostate cancer kills cancer cells or reduces their growth rate, it does not completely eliminate prostate cancer, Mayo Clinic advises. Typically, prostate cancer returns after hormone therapy.

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