What is Hormonal Therapy for Cancer?
Also called as endocrine therapy, it is the type of cancer treatment that uses hormonal manipulation to slow or stop the growth of cancer that are dependent on hormones. It helps in relieving symptoms of cancer and control cancer growth.
How Hormones Promote Cancer?
Let’s take an example of prostate cancer. The figure below shows the hypothalamus pituitary axis for normal secretion of sexual hormones. Pituitary secretes LH/FSH and ACTH when it gets stimulated by hypothalamus by GnRH. LH/FSH act on the testis to release testosterone and ACTH acts on adrenal gland to release DHEA, which gets converted to testosterone. This testosterone then acts on the prostate cancer cell on intracellular receptors, to promote the growth and survival of prostate cancer cells.
How Hormone Therapy Works?
Now let’s again take the example of prostate cancar to explain how does hormone therapy control the growth of cancer cells. GnRH agonists/antagonists act on the pituitary gland and prevent the release of LH/FSH and ACTH as shown in the figure below.
Cytochrome 17P Inhibitors prevent the release of testosterone from testes and adrenal gland as shown below.
Androgen Receptor Blockers prevent the binding of testosterone on prostate cancer cells,thereby reducing the growth and survival.
Which Cancers can be treated with Hormonal Therapy?
Hormonal therapy is mostly used for Breast and Prostate Cancers. It may also be used in some cases of Endometrial and Ovarian cancer also.
What are the Side Effects of Hormonal Therapy?
Side effects due to hormonal therapy occur mainly because of reduced hormones in the body, androgens in males and estrogens in females. So they largely depend on the type of hormonal therapy, and how the body responds to it. Some common side effects are-
- Weakness, fatigue
- Loss of libido
- Hot flashes
- Weakened bones
- Mood changes, Depression
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Vaginal dryness
- Enlarged and tender breasts
How is Hormone Therapy given?
Hormone manipulation may be done by surgical and non-surgical methods. Surgical methods include bilateral orchiectomy (in men) and bilateral salpingophorectomy (in women). In non surgical hormone therapy, it may be given by oral or intravenous route depending on the type of drug and cancer type.
Where can I get Hormone Therapy in Delhi?
Dr Sunny Garg is a renowned Medical Oncologist in New Delhi with years of experience of treating cancer patients with Hormone Therapy. He has been trained at premier institutes of country and has practiced in leading cancer hospitals in Delhi, and currently practicing at Manipal Hospital, Dwarka. He works in close collaboration with surgical and radiation oncologists, oncopathologists, nuclear medicine, and genetic counselors for comprehensive cancer care for the patients.
What is the Cost of Hormone Therapy in Delhi?
Cost of hormone therapy depends on the type of hormone therapy and the duration and frequency for which it is being given. The cost may also vary with the hospital where the treatment is being taken.