A Beginner's Guide to Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy, also known as endocrinal therapy or hormonal therapy is the process of treating cancer using hormones. According to the narrator in the video, people need to understand their endocrine system, comprising organs such as the adrenal glands, brain, ovaries, pancreas, and thyroid. The organs in the endocrine system release hormones (chemical messengers that give instructions to various body cells) into the bloodstream. Hormones can influence the growth of cancerous cells, hormones bind to receptors in typical cells, and these receptors can be found in cancerous cells which drives tumor growth. How can a hormone therapy clinic stop hormones from binding to cancerous cells? Hormone therapy depends on the receptor status of cancerous cells in a woman and whether or not they've reached menopause. Hormone therapy either blocks the receptors in the cancerous cells or stops hormone production altogether.

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For instance, hormone therapy can comprise the use of drugs known as SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators). One of the most common SERMs is tamoxifen. Others include bazedoxifene, clomiphene, raloxifene, etc. SERMs are selective and only block the effect of hormones on specific cells without interfering with other cells.