Hello, my name is Dr. Michael Bonaga M.D. Today I will be explaining to you one of the treatments out there for cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and any other cancer that is caused by hormones, hormone therapy. As I mentioned earlier it is used against cancers that have a hormone origin. They work by adding, blocking, or removing hormones from the body to either slow or stop cancer cells from growing. Hormone therapy can also lessen the chance of cancer ever returning. As to specific types of hormone therapy, there are 2 extremely general types. There are types that block the body’s ability to produce certain hormones, and there are types of hormone therapy that change the way hormones behave in the body. Hormone therapy can also be used with other types of therapy to benefit you. For example, hormone therapy can actually decrease the size of a tumor so that it is easier to perform other treatments like surgery or radiation therapy. If this is an option for you, I would extremely recommend this option because it not only make our lives as doctors easier but it can also result in benefits for you. One of the main benefits of this is that the chance of cancer coming back is even lower but not perfect, so unfortunately, there can’t be any promises if cancer will return because there is nothing in the world right now that can prevent cancer from returning with 100% effectiveness. Just like almost all treatments out there, hormone therapy, can cause side effects. For men taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer, here are some common side effects: Hot flashes, Loss of interest in or ability to have sex, Weakened bones, Diarrhea, Nausea, Enlarged and tender breasts, and Fatigue. For women taking hormone therapy for breast cancer, here are some common side effects: Hot flashes, Vaginal dryness, Changes in your periods if you have not yet reached menopause, Loss of interest in sex, Nausea, Mood changes, and Fatigue. Another extremely common question that I’ve received over the years is the cost of treatment. The cost really depends on what type of hormone treatment you decide on and on what cancer the treatment is treating. Other factors can be how long you will be or have been taking this treatment and where you live in your country. If you want the most accurate estimate on cost, your insurance companies and where you plane to receive treatment, would be glad to help you. Here are some things you can expect when you receive treatment. Hormone treatment can be administered in many different ways. Treatment can be given orally, as in pills that are consumed by the patient, Injection, where the hormone therapy is given by a shot in a muscle in your arm, thigh, or hip, or right under the skin in the fatty part of your arm, leg, or belly, and in rare cases surgery, you may have surgery to remove organs that produce hormones. In women, the ovaries are removed. In men, the testicles are removed. You can receive hormone therapy in many places, but my recommendation is to receive hormone therapy at a hospital or a certified medical clinic. Hormone therapy can also emotionally affect you, but there is no way any doctor can tell you exactly how you will feel during treatment. It all depends on the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, the type of hormone therapy you are getting, and the dose. Sometimes patients will ask me how will they know if the treatment is working. If you are taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer, you will have regular PSA tests. If your PSA results stay the same or even become lower, then that’s how we, as doctors, that the treatment is working perfectly. If your PSA levels go up, then this is one of the major signs to doctors like myself, that treatment is no longer working. In the case that this does happen, you personal doctor can discuss with you other treatment options.