Treatment options for testicular cancer patients depend on the cancer stage, the patient’s age, and the patient’s overall health. Patients have time for second opinions and to talk through all of their options with their doctors and develop a treatment plan that best fits their needs.
Seminomas and nonseminomas are treated differently. Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation. If a tumor contains both types of cells, it is treated as a nonseminoma.
There are three types of standard treatment:
Orchiectomy is the procedure for removing the testicle through an incision in the groin. A man with one healthy testicle can still have sexual intercourse and this operation seldom affects a man’s ability to produce children.
Some men choose to have a fake testicle placed in the scrotum during or after surgery for cosmetic purposes.
A large machine directs radiation at the body and uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation aimed at the lymph nodes in the abdomen is used to treat seminomas, usually after surgery. Men with nonseminomas usually do not undergo radiation therapy, since those tumors are less likely to respond to radiation.
This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In patients with testicular cancer, chemotherapy is usually given after surgery, but it may be the initial treatment in advanced cases. Most often, drugs are injected into the veins.
Recovery after testicular cancer depends on treatment type, spread of disease, and other factors. Follow-up care after treatment for testicular cancer is important. Even when the cancer seems to be gone, it can return if cancer cells remain in the body after treatment. Regular doctor visits are suggested. Doctors check patients with regular blood tests, x-rays, and CT scans. Men who have had testicular cancer have an increased change of developing the disease in the other testicle.
Social networking and online support groups are important tools. Reaching out to others who have or have had similar experiences can provide you with valuable insights. Check out Cancer Support Community's The Living Room
for more information on clinically facilitated support online.