Diabetes and hormonal therapies

Some hormonal therapy drugs can increase your blood sugar level. These drugs are often used to treat breast cancer and prostate cancer.

How hormonal therapy can affect your diabetes

Hormonal therapy drugs that can increase your blood sugar level include:

Your blood sugar levels will usually go back to normal once the hormonal therapy treatment is finished.

If you do not have diabetes, there is a small risk of developing it when taking some hormonal therapy drugs. Usually the benefits of the hormonal therapy outweigh the risk of diabetes. Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse can talk to you about this.

Talk to your doctor if you do not have diabetes but develop any of its symptoms while having hormonal therapy. You can find out more about symptoms of diabetes on the Diabetes UK website.

Controlling your blood sugar when having hormonal therapy

Hormone therapy treatment is often given for a few years. During your treatment, you may need to check your blood sugar level more often than normal. Your diabetes team will monitor you during treatment and give you advice on how to manage your blood sugar. Sometimes, you may need to change your insulin or tablet dose.

It is important to tell your doctors about how well you are managing to control your blood sugar level during your treatment.