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If You Are Having Hormonal Therapy for Cancer

Hormonal therapy as cancer treatment

Your body makes hormones to control how certain cells work. Some kinds of cancer use these hormones to grow and spread. Hormone therapy is cancer treatment that stops or slows cancer cell growth by altering your hormone levels. This is not the same as hormone therapy used to treat thyroid problems or ease the symptoms of menopause.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider if hormone therapy is a treatment choice for you:

Questions for the healthcare provider

  • Why do I need this treatment?

  • What's the goal of the treatment?

  • Will I need other kinds of cancer treatment, too?

  • What kind of hormone therapy should I consider? 

  • When will treatment start? 

  • What medicines will I be taking? How do I take them? How often? For how long?

  • How will we know if the treatment is working?

  • What are the likely short-term and long-term side effects?

  • Which side effects should I watch for and tell you about? 

  • What can I do about side effects?

  • Are any side effects permanent?  

  • If I need hormone treatment, would surgery to remove the ovaries or testicles be a better choice for me? Why?

  • How much will hormone therapy cost?

  • Does my health insurance cover it?

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2023
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