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The Different Ways You Can Get Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Here are some of the common ways your doctor can give you hormone therapy.

  • Medication to stop hormones from being made. You may take drugs called luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists or antagonists. These drugs lower the levels of testosterone in your body. You may get these drugs as shots once a month. Or you may get a shot every 3, 4, or 12 months. The doctor may suggest that you take these drugs in cycles. That depends on the stage of your cancer or how you respond to these drugs.

  • Medication to block hormones. You may take drugs called antiandrogens. These drugs keep the body from using testosterone and other male hormones. You take them every day in a pill. Men who have prostate cancer may need to take antiandrogens off and on throughout their lives. It's likely that if you take these drugs, you will also have other treatments.

  • Orchiectomy. This is surgery to take out the testicles. Then you will no longer make the male hormones that let cancer grow.

  • Estrogen. You may take the female hormone estrogen. This hormone helps reduce the effects of testosterone in the body. Because of the serious side effects of estrogen treatment, doctors don't use it very often. Still, your doctor may suggest it if other treatments haven't worked for you.

  • Ketoconazole. This is a drug used more often to treat fungal infections, but doctors have also found that it may help some men with prostate cancer if other drugs are no longer working.