Medicine is a huge branch with a wide range of treatments. Hormone therapy made its way in the 19th century to serve as a prevention of cancer symptoms. Today, it is also used for treating menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and bone diseases like osteoporosis.
People who experience early menopause are likely to be estrogen deficient. Hormone remedial treatment can manipulate the hormone levels in your body to treat prostate cancer, breast cancer, and menopause. You can find here the best hormone replacement therapy Denver.
What Exactly Is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy is a treatment method that changes the level of a particular hormone to prevent or cure different types of diseases. It is recognized and identified by other names, such as hormonal or endocrine remedial treatment. The purposes that these treatment sessions serve can be broadly categorized as follows:
- Cancer treatment: The main purpose of undergoing this therapy is to cure neoplasm, reduce its growth, and delay its effects. It is widely used as a preventive measure against various cancers and their symptoms.
- Relief towards its symptoms: Prostate diseases can prevent a man from undergoing specific surgeries or radiotherapies. Hormone remedy can serve as a great alternative for such people.
Hormone treatment is a broad topic that can be categorized into two groups. One group manipulates the levels of hormones produced in our body, and the other group influences and deals with its functions. Understanding the rudiments of neoplasm is essential to understanding how hormonal remedy works.
Since cancer runs off hormonal growth, adjustments to its levels in the body can control the spreading of neoplasm to other parts of the body and prevent moving to the next stages. There are various types of hormonal therapy, and a given typically depends on the variety of cancer the patient is suffering from. Other factors that influence the type of this remedy given are the range of spreading, the kind of hormone it relies on, and other health issues the patient is a victim of.
Types Of Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy, otherwise known as hormone replacement treatment, focuses on the testosterone levels for prostate diseases and estrogen and progesterone levels for menopause and breast cancer. Estrogen remedy can be categorized as follows:
- Systemic treatment: This type of hormone remedy revolves around systemic estrogen. Such a hormone is ordinarily given in the form of oral pills, patches on the skin, rings, and application-based substances such as gel, cream, or even in spray form. Systemic hormonal therapy is optimal as it has a higher concentration of this chemical. This is commonly used in the treatment of menopause.
- Low-dose vaginal products: In cream, pill, or ring form, low-dose vaginal estrogen treatments reduce the amount of chemical absorbed by the body. Due to this, low-dose vaginal treatments are often solely used to treat menopausal symptoms of the vaginal and urinary tracts.
If the uterus has not been exposed to any removal surgeries, then doctors are likely to prescribe medications containing progesterone and progestin along with estrogen. The scientific reason behind additional progesterone medications is that excess chemicals can lead to endometrial diseases. When estrogen is present without adequate balance by progesterone or progesterone-like hormones, the uterus lining can be stimulated to grow in harmful amounts to the female body. If the uterus has been removed, there is no such risk of excess estrogen damage.
How Does Hormone Therapy Work
Its working can be better understood by educating about cancers and their types. Cancer is essentially a disease that marks the uncontrollable and unsustainable growth of cells that can potentially spread and harm other parts of the body. Certain types of diseases rely on hormone production, for which hormone remedy is conducted. Hormonal therapy is also used for coping with menopause side effects.
This remedial treatment relies on female hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. During menopause, there is a severe lack of estrogen in the body. This can rub the body in the wrong way and cause symptoms such as discomfort, hot flashes, and dizziness. As such, hormonal replacement treatment is conducted to replace the naturally produced chemical with that found in pills and injections.
It can also gain bone mass and prevent potential fractures in women who have undergone menopause. These therapies need to be customized for different people to avoid any side effects.
The treatment can be prescribed in the following ways:
- Oral. Pills contain higher doses of estrogen than other forms.
- Injection. They can also be given in the form of shots. These injections can be provided in the arm, thigh, leg, belly, or any muscle, depending on the purpose of the medication.
- Surgery. People at risk of prostate cancer or breast diseases are subjected to surgical methods to remove those organs responsible for its production. While the ovaries are removed in women, the testicles are removed in men.
The place of receiving this remedy can vary depending on the doctor’s scientific and objective opinion. One can receive them in the comfort of their home or a clinical hospital if necessary. However, hormonal remedial treatment gives people varied responses depending on the type of neoplasm they are subjected to. These effects can range from physical changes to psychological imbalances.
Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Hormonal remedial treatment used for treating prostate diseases is also called androgen suppression therapy. This remedy aims to lower androgen levels in the body or prevent them from promoting the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Prostate cancer cells are encouraged to increase by androgens. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are the two primary androgens in the body. The testicles produce the majority of androgens, although the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys, and prostate diseases cells can also produce androgens.
Prostate tumors frequently temporarily shrink or grow more slowly when androgen levels are lowered, or their entry into prostate tumor cells is prevented. However, hormone treatment is insufficient to treat prostate diseases.
Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer
Hormones like progesterone and estrogen can affect some kinds of breast cancer. The estrogen and progesterone receptors (proteins) on the surface of breast cancer cells aid in the growth of these cells. Endocrine therapies prevent these hormones from binding to these receptors.
Hormonal remedial treatment can affect neoplasm cells practically anywhere in the body. It is advised for females with hormonal receptor-positive malignancies. It is useless for women whose tumors lack receptors. As breast diseases rely on estrogen growth, this therapy focuses on lowering its production. Some medications which block estrogen production are as follows:
- Tamoxifen: Prevents estrogen from connecting to cells; it works selectively by acting as an anti-estrogen hormone in the breast and acting like estrogen for the uterus.
- Toremifene: It is also called Fareston and works selectively like tamoxifen. Such selective treatment is known as SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator). They are used to a limited extent and are ordinarily prescribed in the form of pills.
- Fulvestrant (Faslodex): While the above two are selective modulators to estrogen receptors, Faslodex is a degrader. Its role is to break down estrogen receptors.
Using these drugs can cause the following side effects:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal discharge
- Menstrual cycle delays
- Tumor flare
- Bone pain
- High levels of Calcium in the body
- Endometrial disease
- Blood clots
- Vision defects
Hormone Therapy For Menopause
While hormonal therapy for treating neoplasm revolves around reducing production, menopause remedy focuses on estrogen production. This is also called hormonal replacement therapy because it replaces estrogen hormone. This prevents many menopause symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness (which can lead to painful intercourse), and other troublesome menopausal symptoms, including night sweats and dry, itchy skin. Additional health benefits are listed as follows:
- Reduced chances of developing osteoporosis and breaking a bone
- Some women reported improved mood and mental well-being
- Reduced tooth loss
- Reduced risk of colon disease
- Diabetes risk is reduced
- Joint pains have improved slightly
- The lower mortality rate for women in their 50s who use hormonal remedy
Does It Work Immediately?
Before answering this question, it is important to know if hormonal cure works for the types of cancer you may be suffering from. To know that, you may be compelled to take certain PSA tests. Lower levels indicate that it is right for you, while higher ranks indicate otherwise. Hormonal therapy for breast cancer would require regular check-ups. For additional care, consulting a doctor would be optimal and safe.
It is important to understand that it does not work for all types of diseases; it only works for those which are reliant on hormones for development. The effects of this cure are likely to be seen in a few weeks of remedial sessions. Doctors usually prescribe this hormonal replacement therapy for a maximum duration of 3 months to see any major effects. If the results are not seen within the period prescribed by the doctor, then it is likely that this treatment might not be right for you.
Hormones directly influence the functioning of your body, and as such, the therapies revolving around them are likely to cause serious side effects, like the following:
- Prostate tumor treatment can lead to excessive weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Psychological discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Weak bones
- Pale and tender breasts
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Breast tumor
- Erectile dysfunction
Hormonal replacement treatment was once widely used to treat menopausal symptoms and protect long-term health. Following that, large clinical trials revealed health risks. As far as this treatment is concerned, there is no such thing as extra information when consulting your doctor for the measure. Make sure you are as detailed about your experience as to prescribe the right one.
Hormonal treatment can be a friend with its advantages and a foe with its risks. Taking optimal measures to reduce such risks and regularly checking up with the concerned doctor are the ingredients to successful treatment.