Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Surgical Castration in Men Receiving Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer and Their Relationship to Health-Related Quality of Life



      To determine the attitudes and education regarding surgical castration in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for metastatic prostate cancer (mCaP).


      We identified 142 patients receiving ADT for mCaP at our institution without prior orchiectomy who were then sent 2 surveys via mail: (1) A questionnaire to assess knowledge and understanding of ADT treatment alternatives and (2) the functional assessment of cancer therapy – prostate (FACT-P) questionnaire which determines health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Two cohorts were created based on the answer to “would you be interested in surgical orchiectomy?” and demographic, CaP and HRQOL were compared between the surgical castration yes (SC+) and surgical castration no (SC-) cohorts. A second analysis identified predictors of worse HRQOL.


      Of 68 (47.9%) patients that responded to the survey, only 39 (59.1%) recalled a discussion regarding treatment alternatives to ADT and only 22 (33.3%) recalled a discussion regarding orchiectomy. There were 24 (40.0%) patients that stated interest in undergoing orchiectomy (SC+) as an alternative to ADT with the only independent risk factor being “…bother from the number of clinical appointments required for ADT…” Patients most bothered by side effects and cosmetic changes associated with ADT reported lower HRQOL scores on the FACT-P.


      Few men on ADT knew about surgical alternatives, implying that educational deficits may be a significant factor in the decline in the utilization of orchiectomy. Changes in healthcare economics, utilization and delivery brought on by a global pandemic should warrant a fresh look at the use of surgical castration.
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