Q:

When is human castration necessary?

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Quick Answer

Sometimes human castration is necessary for the treatment of prostate cancer, according to Encyclopedia.com. Prostate cancer grows in response to testosterone, which the testicles produce. Castration removes the source of testosterone, and most of the cancer cells die when deprived of testosterone. Castration is also sometimes necessary in treating testicular cancer when both testicles are affected. Hormone replacement therapy using testosterone implants or patches is an option when castration is necessary due to testicular cancer.

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Full Answer

Surgery castration, known as orchiectomy, involves the removal of the testicles. The scrotum, the sac containing the testicles, remains intact. General anesthesia is not required for the operation, notes Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide. The patient receives light sedation and a local anesthetic.

The surgeon makes a small incision in the scrotum and carefully removes the testicles, explains Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide. After removing the testicles, the surgeon clamps and sutures the blood vessels and closes the incision. The patient’s general health determines when the hospital releases him, but most return home the same day or the next day.

After the procedure, testosterone levels in the body drop to 5 to 10 percent within three to 12 hours. Patients experiencing symptoms from bone metastasis often feel immediate relief, notes Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide. Patients may opt to use an anti-androgen to block the remaining testosterone.

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