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Depo-Provera Use for Endometrial and Renal Cancer

Higher dosages of Depo-Provera are approved for use in endometrial and renal cancer (kidney cancer). It is used for these types of cancer when the cancer is advanced and cannot be treated with surgery, including cancer that has come back after treatment (is recurrent) or that has spread to other areas of the body.
Depo-Provera is used in addition to other cancer treatment as palliative care. Palliative cancer care is treatment that focuses on reducing pain and other symptoms of cancer. Depo-Provera may stop the cancer cells from growing, but will not make the cancer go away.

How Does It Work?

Depo-Provera contains medroxyprogesterone, a manmade (synthetic) form of progesterone. Progesterone is a progestin hormone that plays a key role in the menstrual cycle. Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). It also thins the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), preventing implantation (attachment of a fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus), and thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
Depo-Provera can also slow down the growth of cancer cells in people with endometrial or kidney cancer. However, it does not cure the cancer.

Can Children Use It?

Depo-Provera is not approved for use in children or teenagers who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle.
In addition, this medication can thin the bones. This may be especially concerning during adolescence and early adulthood, which is a critical period for bone strengthening. It is unknown if using Depo-Provera during this time will interfere with this process and cause problems later in life, such as osteoporosis or an increased risk for fractures. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular benefits and risks of using Depo-Provera in children.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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