Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Some types of cancer grow in response to sex hormones in the body. For example, most breast cancers have proteins called estrogen receptors and/or progesterone receptors on the surface of their cells. These cancers grow faster when exposed to the hormone estrogen. Likewise, most prostate cancers grow in response to male hormones called androgens, such as testosterone.
In cases where a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) is likely to be a breast or prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be an effective way to slow the growth of the cancer, or perhaps even shrink it, and may help you live longer.
For breast cancer, types of hormone therapy include drugs like tamoxifen, toremifene (Fareston), fulvestrant (Faslodex); LHRH agonists like leuprolide (Lupron) and goserelin (Zoladex); and the aromatase inhibitors anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara), and exemestane (Aromasin). These drugs either lower estrogen levels or prevent cancer cells from being able to use it. For more information on how these drugs are used and their potential side effects, see Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer.
Hormone therapy can also be used to treat prostate cancer. Some commonly used drugs include LHRH agonists such as leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex), and triptorelin (Trelstar), and anti-androgens such as flutamide (Eulexin), bicalutamide (Casodex), enzalutamide (Xtandi), and apalutamide (Erleada). These drugs either lower the testosterone level or prevent cancer cells from being able to use it. Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy) is another option. For more information, see Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
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Last Revised: September 23, 2021