One treatment for prostate cancer is androgen-deprivation therapy, also called hormone therapy. Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, fuel the growth of prostate cancer. Stopping the body from making these hormones can, for a time, stop the growth of prostate cancer. But hormone therapy isn’t for everyone, and it can cause some bothersome, even serious, side effects such as hot flashes, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis (thinning of bones), fatigue, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, anemia, and changes in blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Hormone therapy is an option for men with prostate cancer when:
• cancer has spread beyond the prostate
• cancer is confined to the prostate but doctors want to boost the effectiveness of radiation therapy or shrink a tumor before brachytherapy (seed therapy, a type of radiation)
• PSA begins to rise after treatment with surgery or radiation therapy, an indication that cancer may have recurred.