This type of therapy is often used as a form of treatment for breast cancer. However, recent studies have also shown that hormonal therapy can be effective also in patients who are suffering from mesothelioma. The possibility that this form of treatment will be successful provides hope to victims of mesothelioma as well as their families particularly since this form of cancer has been proven to be difficult to treat.
Hormonal therapy is not the same as hormone replacement therapy which may be used in order to treat common menopausal symptoms. Hormonal therapy can consists of a number of treatments, all of which serve to supplement, replace, or block hormones that naturally occur within the human body.
Hormones have been known to increase the rate of cancer growth. Because of this, hormonal therapy within cancer patients has been known to take advantage of this fac. Hormonal therapy in cancers such as mesothelioma works by blocking certain hormones or the receptors for these hormones so as to treat the cancer. The hormone receptors are proteins which are located on the outer hormone surface which allow the hormones to bind with targeted areas. Hormonal therapy serves to treat the body as a whole and is typically used as a form of follow-up treatment after surgery. It is utilized in order to reduce the risk that the cancer will reoccur in the body.
The drugs which are used during the process of hormonal therapy are typically given to the patient in liquid or tablet form. The side effects of the therapy are typically minimal and, oftentimes, are not present at all. If side effects do occur, the most common are nausea, fluid retention, as well as an increase in the patient’s appetite. Some of the treatments that are used for cancer do come with serious side effects that are fortunately quite rare. These include effects such as jaundice, allergic reactions, and heightened blood pressure. If an allergic reaction occurs, the most common symptoms will be swelling, pain in the chest, and difficulties breathing.
Recent studies that were conducted with dexamethasons, a synthetic hormone, were used in order to determine whether the use of the hormone would result in marked improvements in patients with mesothelioma. The study’s results were quite encouraging, providing hope to both doctors as well as persons with the cancer.
The drug known as Megestrol, which has been used in a number of clinical trials, is derived from progesterone and has been determined to kill cancerous cells in the body. The studies were designed so that scientists could learn if Megestrol was able to decrease hormone production which would stimulate the growth of the cancer in patients.
Hormonal therapy has been proven to be useful for both breast as well as endometrial cancer in women along with prostate cancer which occurs often in men. Continuing research may prove that these same treatments are useful in those with mesothelioma as well.