Hormones play very significant roles in a person’s overall health. These are the proteins and substances which are found in our body. Therefore, a tiny imbalance in hormones level can cause serious effects. Different types of organs and glands in our body create different kinds of hormones such as thyroid hormones, adrenaline, insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Our body functions according to these hormones. When the level of these hormones changes, people face many physical such as Weight gain or loss, pain in muscles and joints, fatigue, changes in heart rate, weakness in muscles, anxiety or depression, infertility, menopause, unwanted hair growth or loss, and difficulty in sleep, etc.
How do these therapies help and work?
Hormone therapy for men and women is generally used to treat breast and prostate cancers. These therapies are also used to treat menopausal symptoms in females, such as hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. As it contains female hormones, it also helps in the prevention of bone loss and reduces the possibilities of fracture in females.
Menopause is the condition in which the menstrual cycles start to end. It occurs when women experience 12 months without mensuration. In this period, levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are changed, as during menopause body stops making these hormones. This is a natural process that happens in the 40s and 50s of a female. Hormone therapy helps to replace these hormones in the body.
Hormone replacement therapies are also called androgen suppression therapy or androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) as it reduces the androgen level in a male’s body. It is done to treat prostate cancer, as some cancers use hormones for their growth, such as prostate and breast cancers. In hormone therapies, synthetic hormones are used in tablets and injections to reduce the amount of the natural hormones in your body that help the tumor grow. With these therapies spread of cancer is slowed.
These therapies do not affect one part of a body like other local treatments such as radiation therapy and surgeries. In this therapy, the given medications to the patients travel in the whole body and then find and attack the hormones. This is the reason this therapy is also considered as a systematic treatment. Hormone therapy can be given to patients in a few different ways such as oral( in the form of tablets and pills), injection, or sometimes doctors have to remove the hormones producing organs such as testicles in males and ovaries in females.
How to know if hormone therapy is working for you or not?
If a breast cancer patient is being treated with hormone therapy, then the checkups of the breast or chest, neck, and underarm areas are done on a regular basis. Regular mammograms are also done, and in some cases, other imaging procedures such as x-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI are also ordered by the doctor. In prostate cancer patients, regular PSA (a protein found in blood and made by the prostate gland) tests are taken to check the level of PSA in your body. If PSA levels are stable, this means hormone therapy is working; otherwise, other treatments will be done to treat cancer.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you must take it seriously and consult with your doctor to start the required treatments as soon as possible. In addition, there are some other diseases that can be treated by these hormone replacement therapies, such as thyroid, VTE, active liver diseases, Porphyria, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, gallbladder diseases, endometrial cancer, and hypertriglyc epidemic.