Hello, my name is Dr. Michael Bonaga M.D. Today I will be explaining to you one of the treatments out there for cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and any other cancer that is caused by hormones, hormone therapy. As I mentioned earlier it is used against cancers that have a hormone origin. They work by adding, blocking, or removing hormones from the body to either slow or stop cancer cells from growing. Hormone therapy can also lessen the chance of cancer ever returning. As to specific types of hormone therapy, there are 2 extremely general types. There are types that block the body’s ability to produce certain hormones, and there are types of hormone therapy that change the way hormones behave in the body. Hormone therapy can also be used with other types of therapy to benefit you. For example, hormone therapy can actually decrease the size of a tumor so that it is easier to perform other treatments like surgery or radiation therapy. If this is an option for you, I would extremely recommend this option because it not only make our lives as doctors easier but it can also result in benefits for you. One of the main benefits of this is that the chance of cancer coming back is even lower but not perfect, so unfortunately, there can’t be any promises if cancer will return because there is nothing in the world right now that can prevent cancer from returning with 100% effectiveness. Just like almost all treatments out there, hormone therapy, can cause side effects. For men taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer, here are some common side effects: Hot flashes, Loss of interest in or ability to have sex, Weakened bones, Diarrhea, Nausea, Enlarged and tender breasts, and Fatigue. For women taking hormone therapy for breast cancer, here are some common side effects: Hot flashes, Vaginal dryness, Changes in your periods if you have not yet reached menopause, Loss of interest in sex, Nausea, Mood changes, and Fatigue. Another extremely common question that I’ve received over the years is the cost of treatment. The cost really depends on what type of hormone treatment you decide on and on what cancer the treatment is treating. Other factors can be how long you will be or have been taking this treatment and where you live in your country. If you want the most accurate estimate on cost, your insurance companies and where you plane to receive treatment, would be glad to help you. Here are some things you can expect when you receive treatment. Hormone treatment can be administered in many different ways. Treatment can be given orally, as in pills that are consumed by the patient, Injection, where 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, and in rare cases surgery, you may have surgery to remove organs that produce hormones. In women, the ovaries are removed. In men, the testicles are removed. You can receive hormone therapy in many places, but my recommendation is to receive hormone therapy at a hospital or a certified medical clinic. Hormone therapy can also emotionally affect you, but there is no way any doctor can tell you exactly how you will feel during treatment. It all depends on the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, the type of hormone therapy you are getting, and the dose. Sometimes patients will ask me how will they know if the treatment is working. If you are taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer, you will have regular PSA tests. If your PSA results stay the same or even become lower, then that’s how we, as doctors, that the treatment is working perfectly. If your PSA levels go up, then this is one of the major signs to doctors like myself, that treatment is no longer working. In the case that this does happen, your personal doctor can discuss with you other treatment options. If you are receiving hormone therapy for breast cancer, you will have to attend regular checkups. Checkups can include multiple things. Usually doctors will check the neck, underarm, chest, and breast areas. Any other parts in a checkup is up to the doctor’s discretion. Some last things that you should know is that this treatment may cause you to gain weight and it shouldn’t affect your ability to work.Now, I will be going into hormone therapy for a specific cancer. Today I will cover hormone therapy for prostate cancer. As you probably guessed, since this cancer can be treated with hormone therapy, then of course,this cancer and others have a hormonal origin. You also probably already know what hormones are, but in the rare case that you don’t, here’s what they are. Hormones are substances that are produced in the body and act as chemical signals. The types of hormones and the concentration of that hormone in your body can differ due to your gender. First, I’ll do prostate cancer. This cancer is usually in males but there is an extremely rare chance that a women can get prostate cancer, so this analysis will be based on the male body. Androgens are male sex hormones and testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are the most abundant androgens in men. Having prostate cancer may interfere with the growth of these hormones. What hormone therapy does against prostate cancer is stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. I’ll explain how that’s done. Androgens are essential for the male human body to function properly. These androgens are also essential for prostate cancers to grow. In other words, removing the certain hormones isn’t an option because if we did, then yes, the cancer would be dead, but so would you. So, what hormone treatment does, is that it blocks or decreases certain androgen activity, but not so much that you would die. It would be enough for at the very least, make the cancer smaller. All side effects you may experience during this treatment have been explained earlier because the side effects of hormone cancer, for the most part are exactly the same.There are a lot of thing that I found very interesting when I was researching this topic. I found interesting the amount of cancers this treatment can treat and the varieties it can be treated. I also was very surprised to find out that receiving hormone therapy can affect you emotionally. The last thing I want to mention that caught my attention was the use of a PSA test to determine whether the treatment is working or not. Out of all the things that surprised me the most, is how effective using other treatments with hormone treatment. The results of the patient were much higher if more than 1 type of treatment is administered to the patient. I’m most interested going forward in how medicine will advance over the years and how common treatments will get better and better, and how new treatments will be discovered to combat new cancers. I’m not only looking forward to advances in cancer, but huge advancements over the year to all fields of medicine. I have a real passion for medicine and helping others and saving lives because I’m preparing to become a doctor when I grow up. As to what kind of doctor, well I’m not so sure yet. There are so many choices out there it’s hard to pick one. Learning about hormone therapy has made me show so much empathy for those that have to go through cancer or have loved ones that are going through cancer. It’s just a lot to process. There’s so many treatments with so many cancers, I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams, what people with cancer and those around them have to go through each and every day. You life could literally become upside down overnight. Just the stress of having cancer alone, makes me extremely thankful that I’m living a life without cancer and I’m healthy. Personally, I’ve never experienced having cancer or having a loved one with cancer in my life so far, so really, there is nothing I could say that could compare to what those people have to go through. This project has really enlightened me on how much work and research and determination that a doctor or a person studying cancer has to go through because so many people’s lives are in their hands, but part of that is part of the reason I want to become a doctor. As of right now this is most of what we know about one cancer treatment out of so many other out there. You can really see how much has to be put in just to try and find treatments for just one cancer. There are more than 100 cancers out there in the world that we know about. For all we know there could be hundreds of cancers in the world, we just haven’t discovered them yet. When they are discovered, more people will have to step up and spend probably years of their lives understanding cancer in the hopes that one day, a cure for cancer may be found.