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  • What is Hormone Therapy?
  • Post author
    Jonathan Bergstrom

What is Hormone Therapy?

What is Hormone Therapy?

According to The National Cancer Institute

(Hormone) "Treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. Hormones can cause certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer) to grow. To slow or stop the growth of 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. Also called endocrine therapy, hormonal therapy, and hormone treatment." 

In reference to menopause according to WebMD:

Estrogen Therapy

Estrogen Therapy: Doctors generally suggest a low dose of estrogen for women who have had a hysterectomy, the surgery to remove the uterus. Estrogen comes in different forms. The daily pill and patch are the most popular, but the hormone also is available in a vaginal ring, gel, or spray.

  • Estrogen pill — Pills are the most common treatment for menopausal symptoms. Among the many forms of pills available are conjugated estrogens (Cenestin, EstraceEstratab, Femtrace, Ogen, and Premarin) or estrogens-bazedoxifene (Duavee). Follow your doctor's instructions for dosing. Most estrogen pills are taken once a day without food. Some have more complicated dosing schedules. As noted above, estradiol is the same estrogen that the ovary makes before menopause. (note there are also combination pills that include both estrogen and progestin)
  • Estrogen patch — the patch is worn on the skin of your abdomen. Depending on the dose, some patches are replaced every few days, while others can be worn for a week. Examples are AloraClimaraEstraderm, and Vivelle-Dot. Combination estrogen and progestin patches -- like Climara Pro and Combipatch -- are also available. Menostar has a lower dose of estrogen than other patches, and it's only used for reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It doesn't help with other menopause symptoms.
  • Topical Estrogen – Creams, gels and sprays offer other ways of getting estrogen into your system. Examples include gels (like Estroge and Divigell), creams (like Estrasorb), and sprays (like Evamist). As with patches, this type of estrogen treatment is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream. The specifics on how to apply these creams vary, although they're usually used once a day. Estrogel is applied on one arm, from the wrist to the shoulder. Estrasorb is applied to the legs. Evamist is applied to the arm.
  • Vaginal estrogen — Vaginal estrogen comes in a cream, vaginal ring, or vaginal estrogen tablets. In general, these treatments are for women who are troubled specifically by vaginal dryness, itchiness, and burning or pain during intercourse. Examples are vaginal tablets (Vagifem), creams (Estrace or Premarin), and insertable rings (Estring or Femring). Dosing schedules vary, depending on the product. Most vaginal rings need to be replaced every three months. Vaginal tablets are often used daily for a couple of weeks; after that, you only need to use them twice a week. Creams might be used daily, several times a week, or according to a different schedule.
  • Post author
    Jonathan Bergstrom