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Testicular Cancer: Self-Exams at Home

Treatment for Testicular Cancer

Treatment for testicular cancer varies widely, depending on the exact type of cancer and the extent of spread.

Orchiectomy, done for diagnosis, removes most or all testicular cancer. What comes next depends on the stage (spread) of cancer. The stage is determined by further tests, and possibly additional surgery.

Treatment can include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), a major surgery to detect and remove any cancer that has spread.

Each man's cancer should be considered unique - and his treatment should too.

Survival Odds for Testicular Cancer

Sheinfeld provides the best news of all for testicular cancer patients. "Fortunately, this is a highly curable disease, even in advanced stages, assuming timely and appropriate treatment," he says. Keep in mind these facts:

  • A higher percentage of people survive testicular cancer than almost any other cancer.
  • Among those diagnosed most recently, as many as 96 percent survive five years after their diagnosis.
  • Even in patients with testicular cancer that has spread widely (metastasized), 70 to 80 percent can expect to be completely cured with modern treatments.

At the same time, "It is important to treat it meticulously and with great caution," adds Sheinfeld. Part of this caution must include close follow-up after treatment. Two to five percent of testicular cancer survivors will develop cancer in the other testicle within 25 years after diagnosis.

Lance Armstrong's Story

When world-class cyclist Lance Armstrong announced he had testicular cancer in 1996, doctors found it had already spread to his lungs and brain. After rigorous treatment including brain surgery and chemotherapy, Armstrong returned to cycling and won seven Tour de France titles.

Armstrong is the poster guy for surviving testicular cancer. But Armstrong himself points out that he's also an example of what not to do.

Lance told an interviewer he believed he might have had testicular discomfort as early as three years before his diagnosis. At the press conference announcing his diagnosis of testicular cancer, Armstrong had this to say:

"Had I been more aware of the symptoms, I believe I would have seen a doctor before my condition had advanced to this stage."

Listen to Lance. Know the symptoms of testicular cancer. Perform regular testicular cancer self-exams, if you choose. And if you notice anything abnormal, see your doctor right away.

Reviewed on February 01, 2007

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