Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is treatment that affects hormones, which are chemicals made by the body. Medicines or surgery may be used to add, block, or remove hormones from the body.

Hormones can be given as medicine if someone has levels that are too low, such as with diabetes or during menopause. Or they may be given to block the body’s natural hormones to slow or stop cancer cell growth, such as with breast or prostate cancer. Sometimes surgery may be used to remove the gland that makes the hormone.

Side effects will depend on the type of hormone therapy that is used. These can include hot flashes, blood clots, and loss of sex drive.

Last Updated: October 30, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Michael S. Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology

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