Other hormone therapies may
include the use of medicines such as megestrol acetate, estrogen, ketoconazole,
aminoglutethimide combined with hydrocortisone, and corticosteroids
(prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone).
Some men choose
to start hormone therapy only after they have symptoms. But many doctors
recommend starting hormone therapy right away if cancer is found in the
lymph nodes during surgery to remove the prostate. Early treatment may allow
men to live a little longer. Other doctors say to wait, because waiting delays
the bothersome and serious side effects of hormone therapy.
Alternatives to conventional
hormone therapy include intermittent ADT, known as IAD,
where men take cycles of hormone therapy medicines. Taking breaks between
hormone therapy cycles gives men the chance to recover their ability to
function sexually. It also gives relief from the other side effects of hormone
therapy, including the loss of energy, loss of bone and muscle mass, and hot
flashes. The long-term survival outcome of IAD compared to conventional ADT is
not yet known, but from early studies, it looks like they both work about the
For more information about
specific treatments, see the following topics:
What to think about
You may experience a wide variety of emotions after being diagnosed. Most men feel some denial, anger, and grief. Others feel nothing at all. It is normal to have a wide range of feelings. And it is normal for your feelings to change quickly. There are many things you can do to help with your
emotional reaction to prostate cancer. You may find
that talking with family and friends helps you with your emotions. Some men
find that spending time alone is what they need.
If your reaction
is interfering with your ability to make decisions about your health, be sure to talk with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer
psychological or financial services. You may also ask your local chapter of
the American Cancer Society to help you find a support group. Talking with
other men who have had similar feelings can help a lot.
Long-term hormone therapy can also lead to
osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and
more likely to break. Drugs are available to help prevent this side effect. For
more information, see the topic
There are many studies
(clinical trials) focusing on finding ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and
treat prostate cancer in all stages. Talk to your doctor about whether entering
a clinical trial is a good option for you to explore.
If your cancer gets worse, look
into your options for
palliative care. Palliative care is a kind of care for
people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse over time. It
is different from trying to cure your illness. Palliative care focuses on
improving your quality of life-not just in your body but also in your mind and
spirit. Some people combine palliative care with curative care.