Risk Management & Treatment

Hormone therapy

Some types of cancer may be sensitive to the effects of hormones, and may respond to a type of treatment known as hormone therapy (also called hormonal or endocrine therapy). Hormone therapy may work by: 

  • decreasing the amount of hormone produced by the body or by cancer cells; examples include aromatase inhibitors used for breast cancer, , such as leuprolide (Lupron) or goserelen (Zoladex), used for cancer, and other cancer medications that lower hormone levels, such as abiraterone.
  • blocking cancer cells from using hormones made by the body; examples include medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen or raloxifene and androgen receptor blockers such as enzalutamide, apalutamide or darolutamide.

Oncologists can choose from many different types of hormone therapy. Hormone therapy may be used alone or combined with other types of treatments. Each therapy has different indications and side effects. Whether hormone therapy is used, and the type of hormone therapy used, may depend on the following:

  • Your cancer type: Some types of cancer, such as breast and cancer, are often treated with hormone therapy. 
  • Your cancer subtype: Tests may be available to learn if your cancer is sensitive to hormones. This is particularly true for breast cancer, where all tumors are tested to see if they are sensitive to the hormones estrogen or progesterone. 
  • How the cancer responded to previous treatments: If your cancer grows or comes back after hormone therapy, your oncologist may choose a different type of treatment. cancer that returns or grows after hormone therapy is called "" or CRPC. 

Hormone therapy is most often given as by injection or as a pill.  

paying-for-service paying-for-service

Insurance companies are required to cover the costs for cancer treatment. However, health plans may vary on the amount of out-of-pocket costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments. You have a right to know how much your treatment may cost you. Your doctor's office and treating hospital should work with your insurance company to help you plan for the cost of your care. 

If your insurance company denies any services associated with your treatment and care, your health care team can help you appeal their decision. Visit our Health Insurance Appeals page for additional information on insurance appeals. 

The Medicaid website has a link to state Medicaid programs. Specific criteria must be met for Medicaid eligibility.

Some pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs that help cover the cost for their medications: 

Organizations that offer co-pay assistance:

Other resources:

  • The American Cancer Society provides information and resources on covering the cost of cancer care. Public assistance, such as Medicaid may be available if you are ineligible for other programs. 
  • Needy Meds: Assistance programs to help patients with cost of medications and other healthcare.
  • Triage Cancer offers tools and resources to help individuals cope with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.