Hormone therapy is a way to treat menopausal symptoms and protect long-term health. It used to be routinely prescribed, but large clinical trials showed that it caused some health risks.
If you’re thinking about using hormones, talk to your doctor and find out if they believe it is right for you. It can be a big decision.
What is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy is a treatment that replaces the estrogen your body stops making during menopause. It can help you get relief from hot flashes and other symptoms.
It may also protect against osteoporosis (a bone-thinning disease). It’s safe for most women and can be used for many years.
If your doctor recommends hormone therapy, they’ll talk to you about the risks and benefits of it. They’ll also let you know what treatment to take and when.
The type of HRT you’ll need depends on your health. Some types are taken by mouth, while others come in creams or patches.
Estrogen-only HRT, for example, is a type of hormone therapy that can be helpful if you’ve removed your uterus and ovaries or never had a period. If you’re taking this kind of hormone therapy, it’s important to take progesterone along with it. It’s crucial to weigh your options when looking for a clinic. Choose a treatment facility with experienced staff like Evolve Wellness & Health Testosterone Clinic Denver, who can answer your inquiries and ease any concerns.
In What Ways Does Hormone Therapy Combat Cancer?
Hormone therapy blocks cancer cells’ access to certain hormones. It is often used to treat cancers that use hormones to grow and spread (such as breast or prostate cancer).
Some types of hormone therapy are given before surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. This is called neoadjuvant hormonal therapy and may help cancer shrink, so it’s easier to treat.
Other hormone therapies are given after treatment to decrease the risk of cancer returning or spreading. These are called adjuvant hormonal therapy and can be used before, during or after radiotherapy.
Several medicines are used for hormone therapy. The drugs may be given as tablets you swallow or injections in your arm or leg. How long you take these drugs varies from person to person.
What Are The Side Effects of Hormone Therapy?
Hormones are chemicals made by glands that control many things in your body. They help with growth and development, sexual function, reproduction, mood and how your body turns food into energy.
Some people have side effects when they take hormone therapy. These can be mild and settle down after a while.
One of the main side effects is hot flashes. These can range from a few seconds of feeling overheated to several hours of sweating, which can be uncomfortable.
Another is a change in how many erections you have. You may have fewer erections, or they might not last as long.
These side effects are usually temporary and will stop when hormone therapy stops. However, some men have long-term effects of hormone therapy that can’t be reversed.
Some men also experience lowered moods, anxiety or depression due to hormone therapy. Talk with your doctor if you have these feelings.
How Long Will Hormone Therapy Last?
Hormone or radiation therapy may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor (neoadjuvant therapy). It can also be used after other cancer treatments to reduce the risk of cancer returning.
The way that hormone treatments for prostate cancer work are by lowering your body’s testosterone levels. They won’t cure prostate cancer but can slow down its growth and help you live longer.
They also lower your PSA level, which is a test for prostate cancer. But if your cancer grows or recurs, hormone therapy may not be as effective, and your doctor may need to change your treatment plan.
Some men have hot flashes while on hormone therapy. These are very uncomfortable and can last for hours.
After a few weeks, these side effects usually disappear. But they can get worse if you stop taking the medication.
You’ll continue to have regular follow-up appointments. These include PSA tests and screenings, such as mammograms or pelvic exams.