What can I expect?

ADT is used in different circumstances to treat prostate cancer:
  1. Localized prostate cancer. If your cancer hasn’t spread outside the prostate, you may be given ADT before (neo-adjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery or radiotherapy depending on the stage and grade of the tumour.
  2. Locally advanced prostate cancer. If your cancer has spread just outside the prostate you will likely be given ADT after radiotherapy. Men who have adjuvant hormone therapy after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer live longer, both overall and without having a recurrence, than men who are treated with radiation therapy alone (NCI, 2014). 
  3. Advanced prostate cancer. If your cancer has spread to other parts of the body, ADT can help control growth of the cancer and manage symptoms. ADT will be used until the cancer stops responding to it and starts to grow again at which point it is called castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
ADT is used in various ways to treat prostate cancer.
  • Single vs Combination ADT: Anti-androgens can be given on their own or combined with either a LHRH agonist or surgical removal of the testicles ADT can also be combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy or new types of hormone treatment such as abiraterone or enzalutamide.
  • Continuous vs Intermittent ADT: ADT can be given continuously or it may be stopped once the PSA number is lowered and stabilized and then restarted when the PSA number increases again (intermittent). Intermittent ADT can give men a break from some of the side effects of ADT, however it is not clear if intermittent is as effective as continuous ADT.

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