Estrogen therapy is the use of the female hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES) to suppress the production of testosterone. Pills are taken one to three times a day. Estrogen therapy was once the primary form of hormone therapy for men with prostate cancer. However, its use has declined due to dangerous side effects, including increased risk of blood clots, heart disease and stroke.
Testing during and after hormone therapy
* PSA blood levels are initially monitored every one to three months and then every three to six months.
* Since anemia is a common side effect of long-term androgen deprivation therapy, blood tests are taken at the beginning of therapy and throughout treatment.
* Liver function tests (with anti-androgen therapy only).
* Dual energy x-ray absorptiomety, or DEXA scanning is a common test for osteoporosis, in which an x-ray machine measures bone mineral density.
information last updated in October, 2006