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Some cancers need hormones to grow. Hormone therapy, also called endocrine therapy and hormonal therapy, keeps cancer cells from getting or using the hormones they need to grow.
For some patients, we work to slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer). Synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone.
The side effect of hormone therapy for patients depends on the type of therapy. They include weight gain, hot flashes, nausea, and changes in fertility. In women patients, hormone therapy may make menstrual periods stop or become irregular and may cause vaginal dryness. In men, hormone therapy may cause impotence, loss of sexual desire and breast growth or tenderness.