Objective: Bilateral subcapsular orchiectomy (BSO) is said to be more aesthetic and psychologically satisfying when compared to bilateral total orchiectomy (BTO). This study compared the quality of life (QoL) of men with advanced prostate cancer who had BTO to those who had BSO, with an emphasis on their perception of self or identity as a man.
Subjects and methods: Sixty-one patients with advanced prostate cancer opting for bilateral orchiectomy were recruited. Pre-orchiectomy and at 1 month and 3 months post-orchiectomy, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy for Prostate cancer (FACT-P) questionnaires were administered and scored.
Results: Thirty (49.18%) patients had BTO (BTO group), while 31 (50.82%) patients had BSO (BSO group) for advanced prostate cancer. On comparison of the two groups, there were no statistically significant differences in FACT-P scores at 1 month and 3 months. The subscale scores also showed no significant statistical difference except for the physical well-being score at 3 months post-orchiectomy, which was lower in the BSO group (P = 0.041). The average scores of Item P5 (I am able to feel like a man) which were used to assess the sex-role identity declined on an average over 3 months with no statistically significant difference on comparison of the two groups.
Conclusion: The QoL scores (FACT-P and FACT-G) assessed over 3 months post-orchiectomy did not differ on comparison of the BTO group and the BSO group. Performing a BSO in our region did not result in any psychological benefit when compared to performing a BTO.
Keywords: Bilateral subcapsular orchiectomy; bilateral total orchiectomy; prostate cancer; quality of life.