Feature Archive

Questions to Ask About Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

By R. Morgan Griffin
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson

Hormone therapy can make a big difference for men with recurrent or metastatic prostate cancer. But it isn't a cure. Its effects are limited and the side effects can be difficult to cope with. Deciding on a therapy -- which drugs, alone or in combination, and what dosing schedule -- can be difficult.

It's key that you understand the benefits and risks. You need to be informed. So WebMD turned to some experts for advice. If they were patients, we asked, what would they ask their doctors about hormone treatments?

Do I really need hormone therapy?
You shouldn't assume that more therapy is always better, says Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, director of prostate cancer programs at the American Cancer Society. If there's proof that the cancer has returned or spread throughout the body, hormone therapy makes sense. But if your case is not so clear-cut, you should carefully weigh the benefits and risks of hormone therapy -- especially the side effects. As of yet, we don't have good evidence that getting very early treatment helps more than the standard approach.

What kind of treatment do you think I need?
You should think about what kind of treatment makes sense for you, Brooks says. Would you prefer to have injections every few months, or get an implant once a year? Is surgery something you would like to consider? Talk over the options with your doctor.