Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer (Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT) - Topic Overview

    Timing of hormone therapy

    Research does not clearly show whether starting hormone therapy before symptoms appear allows men to live longer than if they waited until after symptoms appear to start taking medicine.3 Men who start hormone therapy almost always stay on it for the rest of their lives. So waiting until symptoms appear may allow men to delay the serious side effects of hormone therapy.

    Alternatives to conventional hormone therapy

    • Intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD). This involves cycles of hormone therapy medicines. Taking breaks during hormone therapy gives men the chance to recover their ability to function sexually. It also gives relief from the other side effects of hormone therapy, including hot flashes and the effects on energy as well as bone and muscle mass. The long-term survival outcome of IAD compared to conventional ADT is not yet known.
    • Antiandrogen monotherapy. Antiandrogens are medicines that block the action of androgens in the body. Antiandrogen monotherapy means taking antiandrogens without other hormone medicines.

    Side effects of hormone therapy

    The side effects of hormone therapy increase with the length of time that a man uses this therapy. Some of the side effects from hormone therapy will go away when a man who is taking medicine finishes his hormone therapy. For a man who has an orchiectomy, the side effects of sterility and loss of sexual interest are immediate and permanent.

    Side effects of hormone therapy may include:

    Other side effects may include hot flashes, erection problems and reduced sex drive, breast enlargement, and cognitive impairment. Some men may experience depression.

    See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems).

    Long-term side effects of hormone therapy

    The long-term side effects of hormone therapy, even for men taking medicine, are not known. But hormone therapy has been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a shorter life span.3

    One large study found that hormone therapy appears to be linked to a higher risk of death from heart problems in men who had surgery for localized prostate cancer.4

    1 | 2 | 3
    Next Article:

    Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer (Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT) Topics

    Today on WebMD

    man with doctor
    Symptoms, risks, treatments
    man coughing
    Men shouldn’t ignore
     
    prostate cancer cells
    What does this diagnosis mean?
    doctor and male patient
    Is it worth it?
     
    cancer fighting foods
    SLIDESHOW
    15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
    FEATURE
     
    Prostate Enlarged
    VIDEO
    Picture Of The Prostate
    ANATOMY
     
    Prostate Cancer Quiz
    QUIZ
    screening tests for men
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Prostate Cancer Symptoms
    VIDEO
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW