Hormone Therapy and why it actually works!
Hormone Therapy Why It Works
Hormone therapy utilizes drugs most commonly and surgery quite rarely to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. Hormone therapy works in different ways.
It prevents the overall synthesis of abnormal hormones in the body, which may result in cancer. What’s more, it may also alter the overall action of hormones.
Association of Cancer with Hormones
There are different glands in the body which produce body hormones with multiple functions. For example, ovaries and skin cells synthesize progesterone and estrogen. Such hormones aid with reproductive functions and sexual characteristics of women. They are also involved in the development and growth of breast cancer. Similarly, testosterone is involved in the regulation of the function and sexual development of men. It is also involved in the development of prostate cancer if produced abnormally. Kidney cancer can also be caused due to the abnormality in hormone production and secretion.
How Might Hormone Therapy Be Helpful against Cancer?
Hormone therapy might involve the usage of different hormones as well as drugs for disturbing the body hormones that it produces. It prevents the abnormal secretion and transport of the hormones toward the tissues that are affected. That way, the cancer cells get deprived of the hormones they need to grow.
Some of the drugs help in stopping the overall synthesis of the hormones produced by the body as well. It also reduces or totally stops the development of cancer. Some cancers require hormones. There are some ways through which hormone therapy might work:
Blocking the hormones from the action – cells come with different receptors present on their surface through which hormones trigger different activities going in the cells. As the receptors are blocked, the hormone can’t bind to the receptor as a ligand anymore. The hormone cannot be attached to and help in the activation of the cell if the normal spot of the hormone is not taken already.
Prevention of the body from the development of the hormone – it might be done with medicines for blocking the synthesis of the hormone or with any surgery for removing the organ. For instance, removing the estrogen producing ovaries would certainly reduce the overall amount of estrogen being produced.
Removing or altering the receptors of hormones on cells – the hormones would not attach to the cell receptors for activating it, rendering the hormone not able to function anymore.
Is it Different from Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy are two different things. While hormone therapy, as indicated, blocks the action or production of the hormones, hormone replacement therapy is when the hormones that are not synthesized in the body anymore are given artificially. For example, estrogen is often given in hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women to reduce symptoms. This therapy is not utilized for the treatment of cancer.
Hormone therapy is under more investigation with the aim of increasing its effectiveness in treating cancer. These are all the basic facts you need to know about hormone therapy for cancer.