Dr. Linette Williamson - Hormone Therapy in Carlsbad
Hormone Therapy to Treat Cancer
Hormone therapy is a cancer treatment that slows down or stops the growth of cancer that uses hormones to grow. Hormone therapy is also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy.
How Hormone Therapy Works against Cancer
Hormone therapy is used to:
- Treat cancer. Hormone therapy can lessen the chance that cancer will return or stop or slow its growth.
- Relieve cancer symptoms. Hormone therapy might be used to minimize or prevent symptoms in men with prostate cancer who are unable to have surgery or radiation therapy.
Types of Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy falls into two broad groups, those that stop the body's ability to generate hormones and those that disrupt how hormones behave in the body.
Who Receives Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is used to treat prostate and breast cancers that use hormones to grow. Hormone therapy is most often used along with other cancer treatments. The kinds of treatment that you need depend on the kind of cancer, if it has spread and how far, if it uses hormones to grow, and if you have other health problems.
How Hormone Therapy Is Used with Other Cancer Treatments
When used with other treatments, hormone therapy can:
- Make a tumor smaller before surgery or radiation therapy. This is called neoadjuvant therapy.
- Lower the risk that cancer will come back after the main treatment. This is called adjuvant therapy.
- Destroy cancer cells that have returned or spread to other parts of your body.
Hormone Therapy in Carlsbad
Because hormone therapy stops your body's ability to generate hormones or disrupts how hormones behave, it can cause unwanted side effects. The side effects you have will depend on the type of hormone therapy you receive and the way your body responds to it. People respond differently to the same treatment, so not everyone has the same side effects. Some side effects also vary if you are a man or a woman.
Some typical side effects for males who receive hormone therapy for prostate cancer consist of:
- hot flashes
- loss of interest in or ability to have sex
- weakened bones
- enlarged and tender breasts
Some common side effects for women who receive hormone therapy for breast cancer include:
- hot flashes
- vaginal dryness
- changes in your periods if you have not yet reached menopause
- loss of interest in sex
- mood changes
How Much Hormone Therapy Costs
The cost of hormone therapy depends on:
- the types of hormone therapy you receive
- how long and how frequently you receive hormone therapy
- the part of the country where you live
Talk with your health insurance provider regarding what services it will pay for. Most insurance plans cover hormone therapy for their participants. For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute database, Organizations that Offer Support Services and search "financial assistance." Or call toll-free 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) to ask for assistance.
What to Anticipate When Receiving Hormone Therapy
How Hormone Therapy Is Given
Hormone therapy may be given in several ways. Some common methods include:
- Oral. Hormone therapy is available in pills that you swallow.
- Injection. The hormone therapy is given by a shot in a muscle in your arm, thigh, or hip, or right under the skin in the fatty part of your arm, leg, or belly.
- Surgery. You may have surgery to remove organs that generate hormones. In women, the ovaries are removed. In men, the testicles are removed.
Where You Receive Hormone Therapy
Where you get treatment depends on which hormone therapy you are getting and how it is provided. You might take hormone therapy in your home. Or, you may receive hormone therapy in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital.
How Hormone Therapy May Affect You
Hormone therapy affects individuals in different ways. How you feel depends on the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, the type of hormone therapy you are receiving, and the dose. Your doctors and nurses can not know for certain how you will feel during hormone therapy.
How to Tell If Hormone Therapy Is Working
If you are taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer, you will have routine PSA tests. If hormone therapy is working, your PSA levels will stay the same or may even decrease. But, if your PSA levels go up, this may be a sign that the therapy is no longer working. If this happens, your physician will go over treatment options with you.
If you are taking hormone therapy for breast cancer, you will have regular checkups. Checkups typically include an exam of the neck, underarm, chest, and breast areas. You will have regular mammograms, though you most likely won't require a mammogram of a reconstructed breast. Your doctor might also order other imaging procedures or lab tests.
Unique Diet Needs
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer may cause weight gain. Talk with your physician, nurse, or dietitian if weight gain becomes a problem for you.
Working during Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy should not interfere with your ability to work.
Linette Williamson, MD is an Integrative Medical Doctor, who specializes in helping her patients and Hormone Therapy in Carlsbad
Identify lifestyle factors that affect their everyday medical issues. Dr. Williamson uses cutting-edge testing to find imbalances that are related to your health problems. She will spend time with you to find out what specific issues you have and help you develop a specific plan that is unique to you.
Call the clinic and schedule your appointment now. Call us today at (760) 875-2627.