Orchid exists to save men's lives from testicular, prostate and penile cancers
through pioneering research and promoting awareness



Colin Osborne

Over 43,000 men are diagnosed every year in the UK with testicular, prostate and penile cancer. Orchid is the UK’s leading charity working in the area of male-specific cancers. Established in 1996 by testicular cancer patient Colin Osborne, and the oncologist who saved his life, Professor Tim Oliver, the charity provides support to people affected by or interested in these cancers through funding a world-class research programme, awareness and education campaigns and a range of vital support services.

Our services include Orchid Male Cancer Information Nurse Specialists, a freephone National Male Cancer Helpline, a portfolio of publications, an award winning DVD ‘Know Your Balls-Check Em Out’, a testicular cancer microsite “Your Privates”, a dedicated website, newsletter, road shows and a unique Community Golf Programme.

Orchid works closely with health and social care professionals, community groups, schools and universities, other not-for-profit organisations, the business community, MPs and the media to raise awareness of these cancers and to campaign for better care and services. Orchid has achieved significant success in a short space of time and supported thousands of men and their families. However, there is still more work to be done and demand for these services is increasing year on year. The charity relies entirely on voluntary income to meet its commitments.

Helpline 0808 802 0010



Why the name Orchid?

The Greeks had a word for it. Greek civilization was the birthplace of medicine; think Hippocratic Oath. They named the male testicle Orchis – a tuber – because the male testicle has the same shape as the tuber of the orchid.

The treatment for both testicular and prostate cancer can require the surgical removal of one or more testicles, an operation known as an orchidectomy.

So ORCHID is a very appropriate name for the charity which aims to make life bloom, as well as save many unnecessary orchidectomy operations.



History of Orchid Male Cancer

Orchid Male Cancer was founded in 1996 by testicular cancer patient Colin Osborne and Professor Tim Oliver in an effort to increase awareness of male cancer.

The aim of the website is to provide good quality information relating to the awareness and treatment of prostate, testicular and penile cancer. All our information publications have been created by two specialist nurses with a background in treating male cancer as well an editorial board consisting of several expert cancer specialists and several former male cancer survivors. All items of a medical nature have been checked for accuracy by professionals in the appropriate medical field. Latest medical research and opinion is incorporated into our publications and website including national clinical guidelines and recommendations.

This information is provided to assist with understanding only and should never be used as a substitute for professional medical opinion.


Orchid makes no charges for membership or using the website. Funding is received via donations, grants and fundraising undertaken by the charity and its members.

Orchid Male Cancer is not an NHS organisation.

Links to external information websites and resources are given in some instances.

Authoring of publications

Publications in hard copy or on the Orchid website are written to provide accurate and up to date information content reflecting reliable research evidence, guidance and best clinical practice. Where there are differences of opinion, for example, about the best methods of treatment, the publication will endeavour to reflect all opinions where there is reliable research evidence or recognised clinical practice.

Orchid publications are written by Orchid medical staff and must comply with various policies which control their style and content as well as ensuring that they are free from any influence to promote particular research or products. They are reviewed every two or three years as a matter of course. However, the default re-issue period of any article may be changed, where there is a significant change in the understanding of a condition or the way in which it is managed.

We collect and monitor feedback from users and health professionals concerning the content of our publications and aim to respond to any comments questioning the accuracy of information within 10 days. If investigation proves that changes to publications are of urgent clinical importance we will undertake these immediately, otherwise all feedback will be routinely documented and considered when the corresponding publication is next reviewed.


Publication Creation and Quality Control Process

Orchid is working towards accreditation from The Information Standard and accepts its aims to improve the quality of health related information provided to the public.

Our publication process includes proofreading by a designated member of staff for typographic or grammatical errors, consistency of terminology, adherence to house style, etc. as well as review by two medical professionals qualified and working in the relevant field. Professional and patient feedback is taken into account during the initial publication of a document and at subsequent reviews.

A database of references is maintained by the staff responsible for writing publications and these are referred to as they write articles.

Information Publications

Information produced will relate to prostate, testicular and penile cancer. Other topics that are commonly associated with these subject areas, where families frequently seek information.

All publications will be of a general advisory nature, which provides the reader with basic details that they would find on any approved medical site, written using parent friendly language without the use of jargon. Medical terms may be referred to as appropriate and necessary, but will always have an easily understood description with them.


Information will always be produced with reference to current medical sources and Orchid medical advisors.


The purpose of any new document will be to provide written information for anyone affected by male cancer to provide them with a general understanding of the subject matter in order that they are better prepared to seek advice and ask questions of the professionals involved in their care. They will provide general background information and not provide any specific advice and may include links to other sources of information as appropriate, but only when these are from known trusted sources and will be accessible for the foreseeable future.


As we carry out review of our publications, we will include links to the appropriate reference sources on individual website pages.

All publications will be reviewed according to a planned review schedule, which requires review of all documents every 2 - 3 years, but where new or updated information needs to be included in a publication, review may take place sooner or more frequently.


Links to the websites of other organisations are included to assist our visitors and inclusion of a site does not constitute endorsement by Orchid.

Our policy for links is that they:

  • Have relevance to male cancer
  • Provide accurate information
  • Do not offer personal opinion or experience unless it is clear that is what it is
  • Do not seek financial support (other than for a charitable organisation)
  • Represent an organisation not an individual (except in exceptional circumstance where we feel that the site of an individual provides valuable and balanced information)

Whilst we make efforts to ensure that all links are up to date and working and that linked sites fulfil this basic policy, we cannot regularly monitor the content of all linked sites and do not accept responsibility for any inappropriate or incorrect content. Anyone with concerns over any site that we have linked to can report them to admin@orchid-cancer.org.uk



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Registered with the Charity Comission No. 1080540 and registered in England 3963360