SymptomsYour doctor may do this surgery to treat breast cancer or prostate cancer. Without the testicles, your body can’t make as much testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that can cause prostate or breast cancer to spread more quickly. Without testosterone, the cancer may grow at a slower rate, and some symptoms, such as bone pain, may be more bearable.
Your doctor may recommend orchiectomy if you’re in generally good health, and if the cancer cells have not spread beyond your testicles or far beyond your prostate gland.
You may want to do an orchiectomy if you’re transitioning from male to female and want to reduce how much testosterone your body makes.
CausesProstate cancer, testicular tumor, cryptorchidism, and testicular torsion were the first four causes of orchiectomy.
More about Treatment
You might have an operation to remove your testicles (orchidectomy). The testicles produce testosterone, which can help prostate cancer grow. So removing the testicles can help to control the growth of prostate cancer. After removal of the testicles, the level of testosterone in the blood falls quickly.
Removing the testicles is not a common treatment. You're more likely to have injections or tablets to reduce the level of testosterone in your blood.
Some men prefer to have this surgery as it is one treatment compared to regular injections. Orchidectomy is not reversible. You may find the removal of your testicles upsetting.
There are several types of orchiectomy procedures depending on your condition or the goal that you’re trying to reach by having this procedure done:
One or both testicles is removed through a small cut in your scrotum. This may be done to treat breast cancer or prostate cancer if your doctor wants to limit the amount of testosterone that your body makes.
Radical inguinal orchiectomy
One or both testicles is removed through a small cut in the lower part of your abdominal area instead of your scrotum. This may be done if you’ve found a lump in your testicle and your doctor wants to test your testicular tissue for cancer. Doctors may prefer to test for cancer using this surgery because a regular tissue sample, or biopsy, can make cancer cells more likely to spread.
This type of surgery may also be a good option for a transition from male to female.
The tissues around the testicles are removed from the scrotum. This allows you to keep your scrotum intact so that there’s no outward sign that anything has been removed.
Both testicles are removed. This may be done if you have prostate cancer, breast cancer, or are transitioning from male to female.
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