The first line of treatment for testicular cancer is surgery to remove the affected testicle. A testicular implant may be put in place to restore the look of the removed testicle. With the healthy testicle left, you will still be able to have children and normal erection.
Surgery may be followed by radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. For some people, no treatment after surgery is recommended. However, your health care team will monitor you regularly. The oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating cancer) will often recommend after surgery what follow-up treatment is best based on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease.
Seminomas in the early stage are often treated with surgery and radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Non-seminoma germ cell tumours (NSGCT) are often treated with more extensive surgery such as radical retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (the removal of some lymph nodes behind the abdomen) followed by watchful waiting or chemotherapy. Often, the use of chemotherapy or surgery depends on an estimate of the risk (low, intermediate, or high) of the cancer worsening or spreading. Various factors, such as the type and stage of the cancer and your overall health, may indicate that one treatment is more suitable than another.
For more advanced disease, such as bulky tumours or metastatic disease, treatment with chemotherapy can still be highly effective. There is a still a significant rate of cure even for testicular cancer that has moved to other parts of the body. Sometimes for high-risk disease, though most often for a recurring cancer, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support (a bone marrow transplant from the patient's own stem cells after high-dose chemotherapy) can successfully bring about long-term remission or even a cure.
Side effects for radiation therapy can include:
- decreased appetite
- red, dry skin at the radiation site
Radiation can affect fertility, but any reduction in sperm production is usually
Because chemotherapy circulates throughout the body, more of the body systems are affected by the treatment. Side effects from chemotherapy include:
- hair loss
- mouth sores
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath
Some chemotherapy can cause sterility, so this should be discussed before treatment starts. Those who want to be able to father children in the future should speak to their doctors regarding storing sperm.
Following cancer treatment, doctors usually recommend blood tests and chest X-rays every month for one year and every 2 months for the second year to make sure the treatment is successful and that the cancer hasn't returned.
Men with testicular cancer may feel particularly vulnerable psychologically, especially since this cancer often hits in the years when they may be starting families. Good psychological support is an important part of the overall healing process.
The outlook for testicular cancer is good - the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the expected outcome. Recurrences of the cancer are possible, however, so those who have had it treated must be watchful for any signs of the cancer returning. Statistics show that most recurrences happen within the first year following treatment.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Testicular-Cancer