What is hormone therapy?
Hormone therapy is a form of systemic therapy that works to add, block, or remove hormones from the body to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) we use hormone therapy to fight various forms of cancer, alongside integrative oncology services to combat side effects.
Why we're different
Many types of cancer require hormones for growth. Hormone therapy can be used to prevent cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow. We may use hormone therapy in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
We understand there are many factors that may influence your treatment choices, such as your desire to have children. We will listen to you and work as a team to develop a treatment plan that seeks to meet your individual needs.
How we support you
Some hormone therapies can cause a range of side effects, depending on the type of cancer involved. For example, breast cancer patients may experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, and mood changes. Prostate cancer patients may experience reduced ability to achieve an erection or orgasm. Other therapies may also cause joint and muscle pain, and an increased risk of bone thinning.
Throughout your treatment, we will provide integrative oncology services to help combat these side effects. Naturopathic medicine, nutrition therapy, mind-body medicine, and spiritual support can help reduce side effects and improve your overall quality of life.
Hormone therapy for thyroid cancer
Patients with thyroid cancer who have had most or all of their thyroid gland removed by surgery need to take daily thyroid stimulating hormone pills in order to maintain their bodies’ normal metabolism.
In addition, maintaining normal or above-normal levels of thyroid hormone in the blood can help to reduce the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) made by the pituitary gland. TSH is a regulatory hormone that stimulates the growth of the thyroid gland, and may also stimulate thyroid cancer cells. Normally, the pituitary gland makes more TSH when levels of thyroid hormone are low, so increasing these levels can send a signal to reduce production of thyroid stimulating hormone, and potentially help to keep some thyroid cancers from recurring.
If you need to take thyroid hormone therapy, your care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will work with you to find the right dosage, and will help you manage any potential side effects.