If your cancer was found early, you may have a choice about further treatment. Talk with your doctor about the risks and possible side effects of each treatment option.
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After treatment, it is important to receive
follow-up care. This care may lead to early identification and management of
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. You may need more treatment.
A diagnosis of testicular cancer means that you will be
seeing your doctor regularly for years to come. It's a good idea to build
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 succeed.
Cancer that has come back
Testicular cancer that has come back (recurred) may be
found during a physical exam, through an imaging test, or as a result of
increasing tumor marker levels. In some cases, recurrent cancer can be successfully treated. This is especially true if the cancer has spread only to
the lymph nodes in the pelvis, belly, or lower back and pelvis.
Recurrent testicular cancer may be treated with chemotherapy, surgery to remove lymph nodes, or radiation. Chemotherapy may be followed by surgery to remove any remaining cancer.
Cancer treatment has two main goals: curing cancer and making your quality of life as good as possible. Palliative care can improve your quality of life by helping you manage your symptoms. It can also help you with other concerns that you may have when you are living with a serious illness.
Testicular cancer can almost always be cured, even if it comes back (recurrent) or has spread (metastasized). But if you do have cancer that can't be cured, a time may come when treatment to cure cancer no longer seems like a good choice. This can be because the side effects, time, and costs of treatment are greater than the promise of cure or relief. But this isn't the end of treatment. You and your doctor can decide when you may be ready for hospice care.