If you are diagnosed with
testicular cancer, your doctor will explain what type
of cancer you have, whether it has spread beyond the testicle (metastasized),
and the potential for curing it. You and your doctor will discuss your
treatment options and possible outcomes of those treatments. Testicular cancer
is considered a highly curable disease, especially when diagnosed at an early
testicular cancer begins with a
radical inguinal orchiectomy, which is surgery to
remove the affected testicle(s). After surgery, depending on which type of cancer cells are
present and whether your cancer has spread to other areas of your body (stage), you may need only surveillance. Or you may need further treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery to remove lymph nodes (RPLND).
If your cancer was found early, you may have a choice regarding further treatment. Talk with your doctor about the risks and possible side effects of each treatment option. For more information, see:
- Testicular Cancer: Which Treatment Should I Have for Stage I Seminoma Testicular Cancer After My Surgery?
- Testicular Cancer: Which Treatment Should I Have for Stage I Nonseminoma Testicular Cancer After My Surgery?
If testicular cancer is not found and treated during its early stages, it may spread (metastasize) to the lymph nodes and to the lungs, liver, brain, and bones. But often testicular cancer that has spread can still be treated successfully.
Regardless of the therapy you
choose to treat your
testicular cancer, it is important to receive
follow-up care, which may lead to early identification and management of
recurrent cancer (cancer that comes back). Your regular follow-up program may
- Physical exams.
- Imaging tests,
CT scans, and
- Blood tests, to check tumor marker
levels. Stable or increasing tumor marker levels after treatment may mean that your
cancer is still present or has returned and that further treatment is needed.
A diagnosis of testicular cancer means that you will be
seeing your doctor regularly for years to come, so it's a good idea to develop
a relationship based on trust and the sharing of information. Your doctor may
give you some advice on changes to make in your life to help treatment be
Treatment if the condition gets worse
Testicular cancer that has come back (recurred) may be
discovered during a physical exam, through an imaging test, or as a result of
increasing tumor marker levels. In some cases, treatment for recurrent testicular cancer may be successful, especially if the cancer has spread only to
the lymph nodes in the pelvis, abdomen, or lower back and pelvis
Recurrent testicular cancer may be treated with chemotherapy, surgery to remove lymph nodes, or radiation. Sometimes high doses of chemotherapy are needed. If these treatments don't work, then high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplant may be tried.