What are the side effects of hormone therapy?
The following are some potential side effects that may occur with Hormone therapy. However, the side effects will vary depending on the type of Hormone therapy that is given. Every person’s hormone treatment experience is different and not every person will experience the same side effects. Discuss the potential side effects of your Hormone therapy with your doctor.
As each person’s individual medical profile and diagnosis is different, so is his or her reaction to treatment. Side effects may be severe, mild, or absent. Be sure to discuss possible side effects of treatment with your cancer care team before the treatment begins.
For prostate cancer, either the surgical removal of the testes or hormone drug therapy can improve the cancer. Both Surgery and drugs may cause the following side effects:
- Hot flashes
- A loss of desire for sexual relations
- Male breast enlargement
- Lower bone density
- Loss of muscle mass
For breast cancer, some women may experience side effects from tamoxifen that are similar to the symptoms some women experience in menopause. Other women do not experience any side effects when taking tamoxifen. The following are some of the side effects that may occur when taking tamoxifen:
- Hot flashes
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Vaginal spotting (a blood-stained discharge from the vagina that is not part of the regular menstrual cycle)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood changes
- Skin rash
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness or itching and/or irritation of the skin around the vagina
Tamoxifen should not be taken during pregnancy. Taking it slightly raises the risk for:
- Endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus)
- Uterine sarcoma (cancer of the muscular wall of the uterus)
- Blood clots
- Eye problems, such as cataracts
- Liver toxicities