Hormonal Therapy


 

 

What are Hormones?
Hormones are special substances produced by the body, which are released from special glands located in various parts of the body. These glands have no ducts or pipes and directly dump their products, that is the hormones, into the blood stream. These glands are thus known as endocrine or ductless glands.

Hormones are important bio-chemicals which serve or facilitate vital functions in the body.

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What is Hormonal Therapy?
Hormonal therapy implies therapy using the medium of hormones. It either involves giving hormones, or refers to the use of synthetic anti hormonal drugs to counter act those hormones which actually act as tumor promoters or involves the surgical removal of hormone producing glands to kill cancer cells or retard their growth.

Hormone therapy is useful in certain types of cancer. The commonest example is breast cancer, in which patients who developed it after menopause and whose tumors are positive for estrogen receptor assay, may after surgery get no further treatment other than Tamoxifen, an anti - estrogenic drug.

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What are the side effects of Hormonal Therapy?
The side effects depend upon:

  • The hormone or anti hormone in question.
  • The dose and the intensity of the therapy, that is, how much, for how long and with what frequency?
  • The side effects usually resolve on completion / cessation of therapy.

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