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Hormone-suppression therapy benefits prostate cancer treatment



Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer are in the early stages when treatment may not even be necessary. But, for patients whose cancer has begun to spread beyond the prostate, aggressive therapy is often essential.

A new study finds men with locally advanced prostate cancer live longer if they are treated with several years of hormone suppression therapy. The drug injections block male hormones, such as testosterone, that help drive the cancer to spread.

Researchers in France studied 970 patients who were randomly assigned to either 6 months or 3 years of hormone suppressing therapy in addition to radiation. Men who received the short-term hormone therapy were 42% more likely to die over a 5 year-period.

However, experts also caution that the hormone suppression drugs have side effects, including hot flashes, reduced sex drive, and insomnia.

Patients with small tumors may not need such extensive hormone treatment, if any at all. Men should talk with their doctors about the overall risks and benefits of hormone therapy in order to receive the best individualized treatment.

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Story summary

Men who have prostate cancer, that has begun to spread, can benefit from hormone-suppression therapy. A new study shows the survival odds are greater for patients who have long-term treatment.

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