Strong bones, healthy heart

Published: May, 2008

Advice for men considering hormone therapy for prostate cancer

For more than a century, doctors have known that hormones play a role in prostate health. But they didn't understand the link between the two until 1941, when Dr. Charles Huggins demonstrated the healthy prostate's dependence on the male sex hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone for growth. He also proved that shutting off the production of these hormones — either with surgical castration or with the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) — would tamp down the growth of prostate tumors. Since then, hormone therapy has been the mainstay of treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »