Testosterone and Prostate Cancer
Testosterone is the most important hormone for men with prostate cancer. It is in the group of male sex hormones called androgens and controls the development of male secondary sex characteristics at puberty – like increased muscle mass, deepening of the voice, and growth of body hair.
Unfortunately, testosterone also stimulates cells that are often found in prostate cancers, causing them to grow and develop. However, if the testosterone is removed, these hormone-sensitive cancers will most often shrink. The goal of hormone therapy is to remove this stimulus from the cancer cells, whether by blocking the production or action of testosterone. In some cases, hormone therapy may be used to shrink the size of a tumor prior to surgery or radiation therapy.