Hormones are natural substances made by our glands in our body and the network of glands that make hormones is termed as endocrine systems. These hormones are carried through bloodstream and act as a messenger between one part to another part of our body. Hormone therapy is one of the major modalities of medical treatment for cancers which involves manipulation of the endocrine systems through exogenous administration of steroid hormones or drugs inhibiting or interrupting activities of specific hormones. Surgical removal of certain endocrine organs for instance oophorectomy can also be employed as a part of hormone therapy. In hormone therapy physician generally start with hormone receptor test that let caregivers to measure amount of cancer proteins or hormone receptors within a cancer tissue. By estimating the amount of hormones such as estrogen or progesterone the test either can be positive or negative. A positive test indicates growth of cancer cells with the help of hormones. In such cases physician divert the hormone therapy by blocking the interaction of hormones with the hormone receptor. Alternatively, in case of negative hormone receptor test which signifies null effect of hormones in growth and development of cancer cells other effective treatments can be rendered to cure cancer.
Prominent companies operating the global Cancer Hormone Therapy Market include AstraZeneca plc, Novartis International AG, Merck & co., QuatRx Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, Inc. among others. A hormone therapy can be rendered either before or after a primary treatment. In case it is rendered before the primary treatment it is medically termed as neoadjuvant treatment which kills. Neoadjuvant treatments help to kill cancer cells and contribute to the effectiveness of the primary therapy. If hormone therapy is given after the primary cancer treatment, it is called adjuvant treatment. Adjuvant therapy is given to improve the chance of a cure. Now a day hormone therapy is widely used in treating breast and prostate cancer. In breast cancer the female hormone estrogen are primarily responsible for stimulating the growth and development of breast cancer cell in majority of cases.
Recently in 2014, aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex and Femara have been approved for treating breast cancers through hormone therapy. Apart from these FDA approved Zoladex Lupron can also be used in curing breast cancers through hormone therapy. In case of prostate cancer a variety of medications can be used as hormone therapy. Male hormones, such as testosterone, stimulate prostate cancer to grow. Hormone therapy is given to help stop hormone production and to block the activity of the male hormones. Some of the antiandrogens used as inhibitors of prostate cancer cell growth encompass flutamide, enzalutamide, bicalutamide, and nilutamide among others. some of the other cancers to which hormone therapy is gaining acceptance now a day include womb cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer among others.
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Major drivers to global cancer hormone therapy include rising incidences of cancer across globe. Statistically according to WHO cancer accounts for 8.2 million deaths in 2012 and it is estimated that annual cancer cases is expected to rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million by 2022. Rising awareness among physician and patients towards alternative cancer therapy processes such as target therapy, immunotherapy or hormone therapy is likely to uplift the market in forthcoming years. Side-effects associated with hormone therapy are major restraints to growth and acceptance of therapy. Some of the common side-effects associated with hormone therapy for cancer include nausea, vaginal spotting, irregular menstrual periods, skin rashes, loss of appetite, vaginal dryness, impotence and male breast enlargement among others.
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