Hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary (CUP) | Cancer Research UK
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Hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary (CUP)

Men and woman discussing unknown primary cancer

This page tells you about hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary. There is information about

 

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Hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary

Hormones are substances that occur naturally in the body. They control the growth and activity of cells. Some cancer cells have hormone receptors. Hormones can bind to these receptors allowing the cancer to grow. The aim of hormone therapy is to block the receptors or to reduce the effect of certain hormones on the cancer cells.

Hormone therapy may cause some side effects. The side effects vary depending on the particular hormone drug you are given but they tend to be mild.

Your doctor is most likely to give you hormone therapy if your test results show that you may have a cancer that has hormone receptors. These receptors can show up in laboratory tests on cancer cells taken from your biopsy specimens.

 

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About hormone therapy for cancer of unknown primary (CUP)

Hormones are substances that occur naturally in the body. They control the growth and activity of cells. Some cancer cells have hormone receptors. Hormones can bind to these receptors and trigger the cancer to grow. Hormone therapy aims to block the receptors or to reduce the effect of certain hormones on the cancer cells.

Hormone therapy does not usually cause bad side effects but it can cause some. The side effects vary depending on the particular hormone drug you are given. You can read about the most common side effects in men and women in our hormone therapy side effects section

Your doctor is most likely to give you hormone therapy if your test results show that you may have a cancer that has hormone receptors. Cancers most likely to have hormone receptors include breast cancer, prostate cancer, womb cancer and kidney cancer. The receptors can show up in laboratory tests on cancer cells taken from your biopsy specimens.

We have a whole section about hormone therapy, which gives detailed information about how it works. It also has information about coping with possible side effects. You can talk to your doctor about your treatment and the reasons it is being prescribed for you. You can also find information about the specific drug you are having in the cancer drugs section.

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Updated: 24 July 2014