For Prostate Cancer Patients on Hormone Therapy, a Place for Answers and Support

Prostate cancer is fueled by testosterone and other androgens, or male sex hormones.

For some prostate cancer patients — especially those whose cancer has returned or is not responding to surgery, radiation or chemotherapy — reducing the body’s androgen levels can help control the disease, sometimes for years. This is called hormone therapy, or androgen deprivation therapy.

Gurkamal Chatta, MD, Clinical Chief of Genitourinary Medicine at Roswell Park, says the benefits of hormone therapy come at a cost, because it causes side effects that can have a serious impact on the patient’s quality of life, including weight gain, high blood pressure, sexual problems, and depression, among others. The side effects can be managed, but men are often reluctant to talk about them or ask for help, and Dr. Chatta says he and his colleagues haven’t always done the best job of addressing those issues and providing answers.

That will begin to change on October 18, 2017, at the first meeting of Roswell Park’s new Prostate Cancer Education Group for Men Treated with Hormone Therapy. Each program will feature Roswell Park experts presenting information about diet, exercise, sexual side effects, and other important issues.

“I think there’s a real need for this,” says Dr. Chatta. “Men don’t talk about it. They need to know there is hope, and there are ways to manage the side effects.”

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The group is open to all prostate cancer patients on hormone therapy, whether or not they are Roswell Park patients. Please register to attend by calling 716-845-8665 or emailing

Meetings will take place on the third Wednesday of the month from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Dobmeier Conference Room on the ground floor of the Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center at Roswell Park (CSC-PG10). Parking will be free for participants. Check out the topics coming up in the months ahead:

  • October 18, 2017: Hormonal Treatment in Prostate Cancer: Challenges and Recent Advances
  • November 15, 2017: You Are What You Eat: Why Nutrition Matters during Prostate Cancer Treatment
  • December 20, 2017: Get Moving! How Exercise Can Help Your Healing
  • January 17, 2018: Enhancing Your Quality of Life through Integrative Medicine (Healing Touch, Mindfulness and More)
  • February 21, 2018: Let’s Talk about Sex: Addressing Real Concerns Faced by Prostate Cancer Patients
  • March 21, 2018: Living Your Best Life through Symptom Management