Testosterone and prostate cancer don’t mix well. The hormone is fuel for prostate cancer cells, essentially making the cancer grow faster.
That’s where hormone therapy comes into play. According to prostatecanceruk.org, hormone therapy works in one of two ways – stopping your brain from signaling the body to produce more testosterone or altogether preventing the hormone from hitting the cancerous cells. Though it’s not a cure, hormone therapy can keep prostate cancer and its symptoms at bay.
One study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that men who take drugs to block testosterone if the cancer returns post surgery are more likely to survive.
“This is a big deal,” said Dr. Ian M. Thompson Jr., of the Christus Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonia, who wrote an editorial about the study. “There are so many things we do in prostate cancer that we don’t know if they make a big difference in survival. This is one of the things where now we can say for sure.”
But what happens if your body stops taking to the hormone therapy? It’s possible. Over time, the hormone therapy may become ineffective and the cancer will start to grow again. Don’t panic.
Here are some tips for handling your prostate cancer if hormone therapy is no longer working.