Hormone therapy is often required after an oncosurgery to prevent the recurrence of cancer. In certain cases a patient may get dosage of hormone therapy before the surgery also. Generally the therapy is given for a period of 5 years. It can also be used for treating the recurrence of cancer or its spread to other parts of the body from its primary site.
In most of the breast cancer patients, this therapy is recommended for women with ER-positive and PR- positive hormones and has effect on cancer cells not only present in the breast but if present in other parts also.
Different hormone therapies
There are different types of hormone therapies available that helps in keeping the estrogen low thereby curtailing the growth of cancer in the cancer. Cancers that are mainly sensitive to hormone therapy include:
- Breast cancer hormone therapy – Hormone therapy for breast cancer helps in preventing the production of oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+) that might initiate the further growth of cancer cells in the patient’s body.
- Prostate cancer hormone therapy – Hormone therapy for this cancer reduces or blocks the production of testosterone in the body. This helps in shrinking the size of an advanced prostate cancer and thus slows its growth. In majority cases, it also aids in lowering the risk of cancer from reoccurring in future.
- Womb cancer hormone therapy – The hormones present in a female’s body i.e. progesterone and oestrogen often affect the activity of the cells in the womb. Often progesterone hormone treatment is given to patients for reducing the size of the womb cancer and also helps in preventing its recurrence.
The different methods of giving a cancer patient hormone therapy include:
- Oral – Pills or capsules can be consumed by the patients to intake hormone therapy.
- Injection – Hormone therapy can also be injected into the body through the wrist, hip, thigh or other apt parts of the body.
- Surgery – Surgical methods are also available to remove certain organs that produce hormones. For instance, the ovaries are removed in a women and the testicles are removed in a man suffering from cancer.
Hormone therapy is usually given to the patient in the form of medications so that the cancer cells are deprived of the hormones that facilitate their growth. The oncologist might also surgically remove the gland that produces hormones that could trigger the cancer cells. Hormone therapy can be used simultaneously with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy to bring out the desired results in patients.
As hormone therapy often interferes with the natural production of hormones in the body, it can give rise to different complications.
- Side effects may vary according to gender.
- In cases for men suffering from prostate cancer- hot flashes, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue are common.
- For women the common occurrences are vaginal dryness, mood swings, and irregularities in periods.
- Weight gain and memory problems can also arise irrespective of gender.
- Regular checkups and physical examinations are advised to check the progress level in a patient.
Hormone therapy when used along with surgery and other cancer treatments like chemo and radiation therapy can prove to be fruitful. If given before the surgery, often referred to as neo-adjuvant therapy, then it helps in reducing the size of the tumor. Findings have suggested that it has been successful in lowering the risk of recurrence of cancer also, especially in cancers related to breast and prostate.
The cost of hormone therapy varies accordingly with the type of hormone used in the therapy and also on the span of the treatment. However in India the entire cancer treatment package inclusive of hormone therapy is much reasonable compared to the amount that is required for treatment in any other developed countries of the west. The cost depending upon the cancer type and its required treatment approach may range between $1500 to $5500. The cost might rise if complications arise and if the treatment procedures involve more advanced methods.
Many hospitals in India provide hormone therapy to patients at an affordable cost thereby helping their recovery. The leading hospitals for hormone therapy are:
- Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Chennai
- Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
- Columbia Asia Hospitals, Bangalore
- Apollo Hospital, Chennai
- Max Healthcare, Gurgaon
- Fortis Escorts Hospital
- Rockland Hospital, Delhi
- Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai
India has achieved a remarkable success in the field of cancer treatment and renders effective hormone therapy to curb the spread of the disease to other parts of the body. Some of the best hormone therapists dealing with cancer patients are:
- Rajendra Badwe ( Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)
- Sabhyata Gupta ( Medanta, Gurgaon)
- Suresh Advani (Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai)
- Kamran Ahmed Khan ( Global Hospitals, Mumbai)
- Vedant Kabra (Fortis Memorial Research Hospital, Gurgaon )
- A patient from Canberra narrates her experience:
“I was devastated on getting detected with breast cancer. My general physician advised me that for a low budget treatment I could visit India. Immediately, I began searching for oncologists and treatments that I could avail in India. I happened to come across MedTour2India who helped me a lot with the proceedings of the treatment. They helped me to get my tickets booked, got my appointments done at the hospital. On my arrival at India, I got in touch with them and as scheduled went to meet the oncologist. After scrutinizing my physical condition the doctor surgically removed the tumor on my best and then I underwent 6 chemo therapies. I was also given tamoxifen as hormonal treatment and told to take it for 5 years. My doctor explained that this would reduce my chances of getting affected with cancer again in future. Overall, my treatment was a success and my health improved. The support I got from MedTour2India was really appreciable. Also, I am thankful to my doctor and the entire staff of the hospital for helping me throughout my recovery process.”
- Another patient from Canada observes:
“3 years ago I was diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer and since I had a family history of cancer, I knew I could get an effective treatment done in India at a low budget. I sought help from a medical organization in India. MedTour2India briefed me about the proceedings keeping my condition in mind. They helped me to book my appointment with an oncologist at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. For an effective treatment, the doctor recommended me with a surgery followed by radiation and hormonal therapy. My treatment continued for a span of 4 months. MedTour2India came to my rescue in all my needs, be it from my lodging to my conveyance. They used to help me out with my regular physical scanning also to trace my recovery. Slowly I healed, and was declared free of cancer. I have been told to continue the hormonal medications for 4 years to ensure complete recovery. Although at the start of the radiation therapy, my health went through several ups and downs, but with the constant help and cooperation from the doctor my health saw a positive turn towards betterment. Without the constant guide of MedTour2India, I wouldn’t have been able to get the treatment done smoothly. They catered to my every need and I would like to recommend about it to any patient in need, on visiting India for a treatment.”