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:
- 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
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
- A higher percentage of people survive testicular cancer than almost any
- 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
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
"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.