Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)

What is ADT?

  • Androgens are hormones that promote male characteristics such as facial hair, sexual function and muscle mass. Testosterone is the main androgen.
  • Prostate cancer cells need androgens to grow.
  • Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a type of treatment for prostate cancer that blocks the effects of androgens and can slow prostate cancer growth.
  •  “Hormone therapy” is another name for ADT.
  • This therapy affects the whole body rather than a particular area.
  • For more information about androgens, see here.
What is done? ADT is usually given as pills or injections. In rare cases it can involve surgery to remove one or both of the testicles. For more information about types of ADT see here
What can I expect? ADT is used to slow the growth of prostate cancer and can also help manage some of the symptoms associated with advanced cancer.
  • Cancer that has spread outside the prostate
  • Recurrence of prostate cancer after another therapy has been used
  • Men who are at high risk of experiencing cancer recurrence after surgery or radiation therapy
What are the possible side-effects and risks? As with all treatments, ADT carries possible side-effects and risks. See here for a list of what these might be. Don’t be alarmed: talk to your doctor and health care team to find out how your treatment might affect you and what you can do to manage any side-effects

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