Hormone Therapy

Some types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer can only grow in the presence of certain hormones. Hormone therapy treats the cancer by depriving the cells of the hormones they need to survive.


Hormone therapy can be implemented through drugs that stop the production of certain hormones or prevent them from working, or through surgery to remove the organ(s) producing the hormones, such as the ovaries or testes.


Like other forms of systemic cancer therapy, hormone therapy is associated with side effects:

  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Infertility
  • In women:
    • Absent or irregular menstrual periods
    • Vaginal dryness
  • In men:
    • Impotence
    • Loss of sexual desire
    • Breast growth or tenderness


Because approaches to hormone therapy vary widely, make sure to talk to your doctor and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what the treatment involves and what to watch for afterward.

Every person and every cancer is unique. This section provides some general information about treating cancer. You may find it helpful to look at additional information about treating the specific type of cancer you have. Your doctor may also recommend other approaches to treating your cancer before, with, or after chemotherapy.


Our continued commitment to research enables us to improve present and future cancer care. Learn about our current cancer-related clinical trials.