Hormones help some types of cancer cells grow, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. In other cases, hormones can kill cancer cells, make cancer cells grow more slowly, or stop them from growing. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment may involve taking medicines that block the activity of the hormone or stop the body from making the hormone. Hormone therapy may involve surgically removing a gland that is making the hormones.
Hormone therapy is most often used along with other cancer treatments. The types of treatment that you need depend on the type of cancer, if it has spread and how far, if it uses hormones to grow, and if you have other health problems.
Your OHC doctor may give you hormone therapies before or after other cancer treatments. Hormone therapy that is given before the primary treatment helps kill cancer cells. They also help make the primary therapy, which is often surgery, work better. Hormone therapy that is given after the primary treatment improves the chance of a cure. With some cancers, hormone therapy is given as soon as cancer is diagnosed, and before any other treatment. It may shrink a tumor or halt the growth of the disease.
Hormone therapy may also be used to reduce or prevent symptoms in men with prostate cancer who are not able to have surgery or radiation therapy.