Testicular Cancer

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Testicular Cancer Treatment

After orchiectomy (removal of the affected testicle), treatment for testicular cancer is driven by the stage of your disease (Stages I – IV). Many specialists, including those at UT Health, are now recommending close observation for men with low risk disease. While this may not be an option for all men, it does benefit those who are appropriate for this management strategy by avoiding unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Testicular cancer spreads by a predictable and standard process from the testicle to the lymph nodes in the belly and then throughout the body. Should you be found to have lymph nodes that are enlarged on your staging studies, you will likely need further therapy with either surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, or a combination of any or all three.

Surgery
Based on your stage from your imaging studies, you may require a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). This procedure involves removing the lymph nodes in your belly that encase the large blood vessels of the body: the aorta and vena cava. (insert picture of retroperitoneum with illustration of para-aortic/inter-aortocaval and paracaval nodes here).

Traditionally, this procedure was done in an open fashion, with a large incision from your breast bone to below your belly button. Our urologic oncologists at UT Health have specialty training and expertise in minimally invasive, laparoscopic and robotic surgery for the treatment of advanced testicular cancer, including robotic or laparoscopic RPLND.

As one of the few centers in the nation offering this level of expertise, we have been able to decrease pain, scarring and blood loss while speeding recovery – all without sacrificing the ability to cure your cancer.

Radiation
Certain types of testicular cancer, mainly seminoma, are very radiosensitive, meaning they can be cured with minimal amounts of radiation therapy. Our radiation oncologists utilize the Varian Edge radiation delivery system for extremely accurate and precise treatment to help minimize collateral damage. Again, the decision to undergo radiation is based on your overall stage of disease. Learn more about Edge radiosurgery

Chemotherapy
Based on the stage of your testicular cancer, you may require chemotherapy for treatment. Advancements in chemotherapeutic agents have allowed for a decreased total dose of chemotherapy for low stage/risk diseases without sacrificing cure. Be sure to discuss what chemotherapy regimen is best for you and your cancer with one of our fellowship-trained medical oncologists.

For men with testicular cancer, it is important that they explore sperm banking prior to any treatment. Visit the LiveStrong website for different options on fertility preservation.

To schedule an appointment with a testicular cancer specialist at UT Health, call 419.383.6644.

Last Updated: 6/1/16