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Alternatives to Prostate Hormone Therapy

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Alternatives to Prostate Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is a type of treatment that can slow or stop prostate cancer from growing and reduce symptoms. It’s usually used when other treatments haven’t worked or are unsafe.

* Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), commonly known as androgen deprivation therapy (or ADT), utilizes surgery or medications to lower levels of male hormones produced by the testicles and adrenal glands (glands located above your kidneys) within the prostate glands. This causes prostate cancer cells to shrink or grow more slowly for a period of time; it’s only available for men who have advanced or metastatic prostate cancer that hasn’t responded to other treatments.

It’s not a cure, but it can slow the progression of cancer and may extend your life. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for this treatment so make sure you discuss if it’s right for you with your doctor.

If you do not qualify for androgen deprivation, other alternatives to hormone therapy include radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Radiotherapy – HIFU is the most common form of radiotherapy, which utilizes high-intensity focused ultrasound to kill cancer cells in your prostate. This outpatient treatment is available at a hospital near you in short sessions that last 4-8 weeks and may cause erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence; however, these side effects are less frequent than with other types of treatments.

Chemotherapy – Docetaxel, the most commonly used chemotherapy agent, is usually given as the initial treatment for men with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer who don’t respond to androgen deprivation or other hormone therapies. It may also be given if your cancer has spread to other parts of your body such as bones or organs.

Nivolumab chemotherapy has recently been approved for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who aren’t responding to other treatments or whose symptoms haven’t improved after trying other approaches. This medication can be taken in combination with other drugs or used as a stand-in therapy in treating your cancer.

Anti-androgens, also known as antiandrogens, are medications that inhibit androgen production in prostate cancer cells. They come in tablet or injection forms and may be combined with LHRH agonists and antagonists or other drugs for maximum effect.

When taking any of these medications, it is essential that your prostate gland not have been removed and that you take them for the full duration prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes, doctors must monitor PSA level and blood counts to confirm that the drug is working effectively.

Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses your own immune system to fight prostate cancer. The procedure utilizes special immune cells that destroy cancer cells. Additionally, it’s sometimes combined with sipuleucel-T, an advanced form of prostate cancer vaccine.

These treatments may not be as powerful as testosterone and other hormones, but they can still be beneficial in slowing the progression of your prostate cancer or stopping its spread. They may be especially useful if other treatments don’t seem to be working for you.

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