Early on when taking these drugs (hormones), you can simplistically think of the medication as "supplementing" your body's own production of corticosteroids. With time, your body realizes you are getting all of the corticosteroids you need in pill or intravenous form, and your body sends a message to stop producing your own natural corticosteroids. If these drugs are suddenly stopped, you not only are not getting the prescription, but it can take a significant amount of time before your body realizes that it needs to make its own corticosteroids again.
AB - We have determined that a significant incidence of specific high affinity receptors for androgen (AR), estrogen (ER), and glucocorticoid (GR) is present in normal adult human lung and bronchogenic carcinoma cytosols. In contrast, a limited number of tumor cytosols bound progesterone. Binding characteristics for each class of steroid hormones were similar to those reported for other steroid-responsive normal and neoplastic tissues. ER was evenly distributed between squamous cell and adenocarcinoma cytosols with a slightly lower affinity, but higher content than normal lung. In normal lung, GR resolved into two distinct binding components based on affinity using a dextran-coated charcoal assay. AR in squamous cell carcinomas behaved in a similar manner. This was not observed when hydroxyapatite was used to separate bound from free ligand. When AR affinity and content were stratified on the basis of tumor grade in squamous cell carcinoma, the most undifferentiated tumors had a lower AR content and higher affinity. In contrast, there was no differentiation of AR content or affinity based on tumor grade in adenocarcinoma where AR also did not resolve into two distinct groups based on binding affinity. Although related to tumor grade, AR incidence and content were not related to stage of disease. In adenocarcinoma, initial results suggest GR affinity and content were inversely related to degree of tumor differentiation, while GR content was slightly lower in poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas. GR content in squamous cell carcinoma increased slightly between Stages I and II and declined significantly in Stage II patients. This was not observed in adenocarcinoma, where GR content appeared to increase with stage of disease. Our results suggest that a significant incidence of specific, high affinity receptors for estrogen, androgen, and glucocorticoid is present in nonsmall cell carcinomas of the lung, which could provide a useful starting point for examining whether steroids influence the natural history of selected bronchogenic carcinomas.
Although pulmonary medicine only began to evolve as a medical specialty in the 1950s, William Welch and William Osler founded the 'parent' organization of the American Thoracic Society , the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis . The care, treatment, and study of tuberculosis of the lung is recognised as a discipline in its own right, phthisiology . When the specialty did begin to evolve, several discoveries were being made linking the respiratory system and the measurement of arterial blood gases, attracting more and more physicians and researchers to the developing field.