One of the unsettled debates in our advanced prostate cancer world surrounds the issue of continuous vs. intermittent hormone therapy (IHT). Traditionally, hormone therapy was continuous, or once you started you never stopped the treatment. As many of us know, hormone therapy is notorious for damaging the quality of life. Hot flashes, loss of libido, neuropathy etc. are just a few of the many side effects many of us experience.
With the goal of minimizing these negative side effects, some of us, with increasing numbers, have elected to periodically stop the therapy until such time that our PSA increases to some undetermined number. Once our number hits the goal (which is different for each of us and dependent upon the PSA velocity) we elect to go back “on” the blockade. Many of us do experience a return of our testosterone during these “off” periods and thus feel much better. Our libido increases, the neuropathy abates and live often normalizes.
In my case, when I elected to go intermittent, my oncologist told me that it is considered experimental and he could not recommend the intermittent schedule. I still elected to go intermittent anticipating that I would get about 9 months time before I would have to go back and restart the therapy. To my great surprise and pleasure I have been on an “off” period for over three (3) years. My PSA has begun to climb, but I am hoping to stay “off” for another year!
There have been few randomized studies