Hormone therapy is the primary treatment for prostate cancer when the disease has spread beyond the prostate gland to distant sites (metastatic disease). The goal of hormone therapy is to dramatically reduce testosterone levels in the blood and therefore, slow the rate of prostate cancer cell growth.
The potential effects of testosterone loss may include:
- hot flashes
- decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction
- loss of bone density and increased fracture risk (osteoporosis)
- increased risk of diabetes and heart attacks
- weight gain
- decreased muscle mass
Many men who are on hormone therapy experience some of these effects, but the extent or degree is not possible to predict. Some of these effects are clinically manageable. A discussion (regarding pros/cons) should take place with your health care provider before beginning hormone therapy. Staying active or exercise is probably the best thing a man can do to prevent many of these side effects.