Simply put, Androgen-Deprivation Therapy is male hormone therapy. Male hormones are called androgens and they stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. By reducing the level of male hormones in the body, prostate cancers can shrink or grow more slowly. However, hormone therapy alone can not cure prostate cancer. Also, hormone therapy is typically used if prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate.
However, some researchers now believe that there is some sort of biological interaction that happens when short term hormone therapy (ADT) is combined with radiation. Specifically, research has shown that adding hormone therapy (ADT) for 4 months prior to and during radiotherapy, can benefit patients with early, localized prostate cancer in 2 ways… it has shown to improve survival rates (people can live longer) and to decrease mortality rates (meaning fewer people actually died as a result of prostate cancer).
Bottomline: If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about adding hormone therapy for 4 months before and during radiation. Using short term ADT along with radiation can improve outcomes while minimizing side effects.