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Medical Miracles: Hormone Therapy

Meet your guide...

Image result for emma zweifel

Emma Zweifel is a senior at Monona Grove High School (class of 2018). Next year she will be continuing her education at University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh or Madison College and is interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in registered nursing. She has always been interested in nursing and wants to work with children who have cancer. She is eager for the opportunity to learn about types of therapy that help cure cancer.

Hormone Therapy for Prostate and Breast Cancer

Medical Miracle

Hormone therapy is a type of cancer treatment used to help treat breast and prostate cancer. Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in the breast start growing rapidly and causes a tumor to form in the breast. In 1882, a surgery called a mastectomy was performed for the first time. A mastectomy is the removal of an entire breast during surgery. This surgery was considered the solution for curing breast cancer into the 20th century. Prostate cancer is when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. In the 1970s, systemic chemotherapy was discovered and used to cure prostate cancer.

Significant Discovery

Hormone therapy was discovered by Thomas Beatson in 1878 and this discovery was monumental in the 19th century for treating breast cancer. Thomas wanted to test what would happen if he removed the ovaries of a cancer patient. After this test he discovered that an oophorectomy resulted in breast cancer patients showing significant improvement. Fifty years later a man named Charles Huggins discovered a regression in prostate cancer after the testicles were removed from the cancer patient. Also drugs that blocked male hormones were proven to effectively cure prostate cancer.

Social Impact

Positive Effects

Negative Effects


Longer term treatments that use hormone therapy have a better chance of working for different diseases.

Evidence shows that there is an increase in breast cancer for women who have hormone therapy done.


Hormone therapy for women who are fighting breast cancer costs less than men who choose the treatment of hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy for men who are fighting prostate cancer costs more than what women have to pay for treatment.


Hormone therapy improves quality of life like sleeping and muscle aches.

With hormone therapy there are unknown long-term risks and benefits and uncertain therapeutic endpoint.  


On October 5, 2005 the FDA approved a medication related to hormone therapy called Exemestane.

Hormone therapy can be associated with the legal issue of product liability.


If someone has insurance that person will have less to pay for hormone therapy treatment.

If someone does not have insurance this person will have to pay the majority of the costs for hormone therapy treatment.

Hormone therapy has many positive effects that impact our society as a whole. One reason being, multiple women have breast cancer and multiple men have prostate cancer in the U.S. Hormone therapy gives cancer patients hope that they will be able to beat this awful illness. Another positive impact on our society is that insurance plans cover the majority of the costs for hormone therapy. This presents a message that the U.S. insurance companies are focused on the patients getting better and not about the money. There are also negative effects that impact our society. One example is legal issues with the treatment and how some companies or facilities could be administering dangerous products. Another negative effect would be the success rate of hormone therapy and if it really helps cure breast and prostate cancer.

Emerging Innovations

After hormone therapy was discovered it has only been associated with curing breast and prostate cancer. Over the years it is shown that hormone therapy can help cure other illnesses and diseases like: bioidentical hormone therapy, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Bioidentical hormone therapy is the use of hormones that are identical to hormones produced in the human body. These hormones are patient specific and have to be prescribed by a doctor. Fibromyalgia is a disease with unexplained muscular pain. Chronic fatigue syndrome is closely related to fibromyalgia and is unexplained lack of energy or weakness. Treatments for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome do not include pain medication or antidepressants.  

Future Directions

I feel that hormone therapy will do great things in the future. One reason being is that hormone therapy does not treat only one cancer. Hormone therapy treats breast and prostate cancer and also can help treat many other diseases. Another reason I think hormone therapy will do great things in the future is because it is a unique treatment. Hormone therapy uses hormones that are already inside your body or are identical to the hormones you possess.

What do you think?

Do you know anyone who has had breast or prostate cancer?
Yes-family member: 0 votes (0%)
No: 0 votes (0%)
I know someone who is not related to me: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0
If you were to have breast cancer or prostate cancer would you consider hormone therapy as your treatment?
Yes: 1 votes (100%)
No: 0 votes (0%)
Maybe: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 1


This video will explain the basic information of hormone therapy as it relates to curing cancer. 

Learn More...

This Prezi presentation explains what hormone therapy is and what the process looks like for a patient with breast cancer receiving hormone therapy. 

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This picture explains the typical treatment plan for a patient with prostate cancer choosing to use hormone therapy as a cure.

Works Cited

Medical Miracle Section:

National Cancer Institute. “Hormone Therapy.” National Cancer Institute, 29 Apr. 2015,

The American Cancer Society Medical, and Editorial Content Team for American Cancer Society. “What Is Breast Cancer?” American Cancer Society, 21 Sept. 2017, 

The American Cancer Society Medical, and Editorial Content team for American Cancer Society. “What Is Prostate Cancer?” American Cancer Society, 11 Mar. 2016,

Goldman, Rena. “History of Breast Cancer: Timeline.” Edited by Christina Chun, Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 Mar. 2017,

Storrs, Carina. “Double Mastectomy Rate Tripled in 10 Years.” CNN, Cable News Network, 11 Mar. 2016,

Doheny, Kathleen. “Preventive Mastectomy Does Little to Extend Life of Breast Cancer Patients.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 July 2014,

American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team . “Evolution of Cancer Treatments: Hormone Therapy.” American Cancer Society, 12 June 2014,
Innovative Health and Wellness Center. “Hormone Replacement Therapy Cleveland.”Innovative Health and Wellness Center,
Nordqvist, Christian. “Hormone Therapy, The Pros And Cons - An Updated Report.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 May 2012,
Lantos, J, et al. “Ethical Issues in Growth Hormone Therapy.” JAMA., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 17 Feb. 1989,
Newson, Dr Louise. “Hormone Replacement Therapy (Risks and Benefits). HRT.” Hormone Replacement Therapy (Risks and Benefits). HRT | Patient,, 24 Feb. 2016,

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