How you prepare

As you consider hormone therapy for prostate cancer, discuss your options with your doctor. Approaches to hormone therapy for prostate cancer include:

  • Medications that stop your body from producing testosterone. Certain medications — known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists — prevent your body's cells from receiving messages to make testosterone. As a result, your testicles stop producing testosterone.
  • Medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells. These medications, known as anti-androgens, usually are given in conjunction with LHRH agonists. That's because LHRH agonists can cause a temporary increase in testosterone before testosterone levels decrease.
  • Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Removing your testicles reduces testosterone levels in your body quickly and significantly. But unlike medication options, surgery to remove the testicles is permanent and irreversible.
April 26, 2016
References
  1. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  2. Dawson NA. Overview of the treatment of disseminated prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  3. Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Prostate cancer. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
  4. Lee RJ, et al. Initial systemic therapy for castration sensitive prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  5. Roach M. Current trends for the use of androgen deprivation therapy in conjunction with radiotherapy for patients with unfavorable intermediate-risk, high-risk, localized, and locally advanced prostate cancer. Cancer. 2014;120:1620.
  6. Smith MR, et al. Side effects of androgen deprivation therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  7. Dawson NA. Secondary endocrine therapies for castration resistant prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  8. Steele GS, et al. Radical inguinal orchiectomy for testicular germ cell cancers. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.