Endocrine surgery is a surgical procedure that is performed to achieve a hormonal or anti-hormonal effect in the body.
Surgical procedures to remove hormone-producing tissues are among the first attempts at endocrine therapy of cancer (e.g., oopherectomy or adrenalectomy for breast cancer, orchiectomy for prostate cancer). Radiotherapy, aimed at hormone-producing organs (e.g., ovaries), has been used to suppress hormone production in patients who were not considered to be surgical candidates.
The use of drugs to suppress hormone production has replaced surgical approaches to endocrine therapy of breast cancer. However, orchiectomy remains a common approach for the hormonal management of prostate cancer because of the simplicity of the procedure, its immediate effect, and the lack of side effects associated with the drugs used to achieve the same hormonal suppression.