You probably have lots of questions about this kind of treatment, its benefits and its potential disadvantages.
This cancer treatment differs from menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which prescribes supplemental hormones to assist in driving away the menopausal symptoms.
Certain cancers rely on hormones to grow. In these situations, hormone therapy may slow or stop the spread of cancers by stopping the body’s ability to produce these certain hormones or shifting how hormone receptors act in the body.
Two types of illness commonly treated with hormone therapy are breast and prostate cancers. Most types of breast cancers have either estrogen (ER) or progesterone (PR) receptors, or both, which means they require these hormones to grow and expand.
On the other hand, prostate cancer demands testosterone and other male sex hormones, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), to grow and roll out. Hormone therapy may aid in making these hormones less accessible to growing cancer cells.
Hormone therapy can be in the form of pills, surgery or injection. It’s typically suggested along with other cancer treatments.
If hormone therapy is part of your treatment plan, you need to discuss with your care team the potential risks or side effects so that you know what to expect and can take steps to reduce them. You should inform the doctors regarding all your other medications to keep away from interactions.
WHAT IS HORMONE THERAPY?
Once you begin to switch into menopause, your ovaries no longer create high levels of estrogen and progesterone. A switch in these hormone levels can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy is medication that has female hormones.
You take the medication so you can compensate for the estrogen that your body stops making when you are experiencing menopause. Hormone therapy is most commonly used to cure common menopausal symptoms, including vaginal discomfort and hot flashes.
BENEFITS OF HORMONE THERAPY
Hormone therapy (HT) is used to raise your hormone levels and relieve some of the symptoms of menopause. Deciding to consider taking HT therapy must be talked about with your healthcare provider. This therapy can also aid prostate cancer and breast cancer.
TYPES OF HORMONE THERAPY
Below are the two main kinds of hormone therapy (HT):
- Estrogen Therapy: Estrogen is taken alone. Estrogen may also be recommended as a vaginal ring, cream, or spray. You should get the lowest dose of estrogen required to soothe the symptoms of menopause and/or to stay away from osteoporosis.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy (EPT): It is also referred to as combination therapy. In this process, doses of estrogen and progesterone (or progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone) are combined.
These are the different kinds of hormone therapy:
- Estrogen-only HRT: A doctor may prescribe this if a person has had their uterus and ovaries removed, in which case progesterone is not required.
- Cyclical, or sequential, HRT: Can be a great idea if symptoms take place before experiencing menopause.
- Continuous HRT: Recommended by doctors after experiencing menopause.
- Local estrogen: Rings, vaginal tablets, or creams, can help with urogenital symptoms, including irritation and dryness of vagina.
On the light note, hundreds of clinical studies have provided proof that systemic Hormone Therapy (estrogen with or without progestogen) successfully helps such conditions as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and bone loss.
These benefits can pave the way to improved sleep, and sexual relations, and greater quality of life. Therefore, you choose hormone therapy over topical medications.
HORMONE THERAPY OVER TOPICAL MEDICATIONS
A topical medication is a kind of medication that is put on the surfaces of the body such as the skin or mucous membranes to treat ailments via a large range of classes which includes but not limited to foams, creams, gels, ointments and lotions.
Topical medications vary from many other types of drugs for the reason that mishandling them can cause certain complications in a patient or the drug administrator.
While there are many types of topical medications which are proven to be helpful, these types of medications have drugs that have poorly lipid-soluble and high molecular weight and are not taken in by the mucous membranes or skin.
Patients practicing topical medications may feel uncomfortable, as staining or messing of clothes is often associated with the use of ointments, creams, pastes, and gels. Another downside of the topical route is that it doesn’t have accuracy of dosing.
Lastly, It is not suitable for all patients because some patients may face skin irritation or allergic reactions.