I did well on them but it was no walk in the park. Hormone therapy (HT) was the right move however and I am enjoying a full remission right now. My side effects included:
1> Total loss of libido
2> Weight gain
3> Hot flashes (I called them personal summers. Mine weren't too bad)
4> Some depression
5> Fatigue (Together with depression it made it difficult to maintain a work out schedule but I did recover from both)
6> Loss of body hair
This list sounds huge but it was actually tolerable. When I stopped my HT almost all went away but it took some time for them to do so. I still have the weight gain issues which complicate my hypertension and can make me susceptible to diabetes. I am still working on that part.
Anti Androgens are a common combination to an LHRH Agonist like Lupron. The typical anti androgen is bicalutamide (Casodex).
Back on the LHRH Agonists. This is the primary testosterone stopper. LHRH Agonists include Lupron, Trelstar, Zoladex, Eligard or even others. They work by manipulating the pituitary gland which will stop the testicles from producing testosterone. Before you start HT I recommend that you get a testosterone count. This is your magic number when you finally stop the therapy. Get the T level and monitor it throughout the therapy. Some docs don't do this but I highly recommend that you do it by requesting that number at each shot. When I was on Lupron my T levels dipped to just 20 (Down from 350). This is what you want to see in the performance of HT. When I stopped it took close to 9 months to get my T levels above 250. But I sure felt better.
Peace to you, and don't be afraid of this therapy. If it's necessary it's good to know it is effective.
Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7
RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.
"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas
Blog : www.caringbridge.org/visit/tonycrispino