Some cancers need hormones to grow. Hormone therapy, a form of systemic therapy, keeps cancer cells from getting or using the hormones they need. It may also be called endocrine or hormonal therapy.
To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer, synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone.
The side effects of hormone therapy depend on the type of therapy. Side effects may include weight gain, hot flashes, nausea, and changes in fertility.