Hormone Therapy Advantages and Disadvantages
Men and women may have different reasons to undergo hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Some men may have a genetic predisposition for the disease. Others might have a sudden increase in the risk after suffering from prostate cancer. Still others might have had their prostate glands removed or enlarged due to radiation therapy.
Prostate cancer is a disease of men and women and the treatment for the disease is very different. In this case, it is not necessary to use hormone therapy for men. Hormone therapy for women is still an option, but it is often taken as a preventive measure.
The general side effects of this medication are abdominal pain, fatigue and vaginal dryness. However, there are also some hormone therapy advantages for men. If a man suffers from benign prostatic hyperplasia, the risks of re-operation can be reduced and there is possibility to prolong survival.
For women, who are left with no option, other than hormone therapy for men, mastectomy and lumpectomy can be the options. In this case, the removal of the prostate gland and/or bladder is recommended. The hormones will still be produced, but in small quantities.
Hormone replacement therapy can be started after surgery, but once the levels of hormones are back to normal, men can resume their regular activities without any restrictions. Hormone therapy for women can actually be more beneficial in the long run, when compared to surgical methods for breast cancer, because replacement therapy can keep the body’s system hormone-balanced and chemotherapy can cause the system to change so that the cancer cannot grow back again.
The other general side effects of prostate cancer hormone therapy are shortness of breath, increased hair growth, weight gain, decreased sexual drive and decrease in skin thickness, which can be temporary or permanent. Sometimes men might also feel an increased risk of blood clots. Most of these effects can be reduced by regular exercise and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Besides the general side effects, some of the benefits of hormonal therapy for breast cancer patients are that it improves skin texture, reduces breast pain, improves blood flow and oxygen consumption, reduces signs of pre-menstrual syndrome, minimizes menstrual cycle irregularity, eases recovery from pre-menstrual syndrome, reduces breast size, improves appearance of enlarged breasts and improves breast quality. Some studies also show that regular use of hormone therapy might reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis and cataract.
Although HRT is a widely used form of therapy for hormone replacement, many health practitioners still debate whether or not HRT is a safe way to replace the hormones that women had been taking for so long. There is still much research being done on this subject and there is some evidence that hormone therapy might increase the risks of breast cancer.
However, there are also some recent studies that suggest that HRT is helpful for post-menopausal women with hormonal imbalances. Other benefits of hormone therapy Miami include the reduction of symptoms of menopause and lowering cholesterol levels. If you are thinking of trying HRT to address your symptoms, talk to your doctor and ask him or her about the various hormone therapy advantages and disadvantages.