Your doctor will design a treatment plan that is based on the stage of your cancer, the symptoms you are having, and your test results. You will be asked about choices in your treatment but the usual course of treatment involves surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Your doctor will do all that is possible to remove all cancer cells from your testes.
Chemotherapy is powerful medication that is used to rid your body of cancer cells. The therapy can cause nausea and vomiting so other medications may be prescribed to treat these side effects of the chemotherapy. Medications used may be any of the following medications or a combination of them:
Bleomycin, Cisplatin, Etoposise or Ifosfamide and paclitaxel.
Nausea and vomiting Medications:
Serotonin antagonists such as Zofran, Kytril, Anzemet or Phenothiazines such as Compazine or Phenergan. Reglan and Gravol may also be recommended.
Any choices in treatment that you are asked to make should be thoroughly explained to you regarding risks and benefits as well as any known side effects such as those described above.
If you are considering having a biological child in the future your doctor can discuss with you fertility possibilities after treatment and what your options are now regarding your fertility. Males who are faced with chemotherapy or radiation therapy often chose to use sperm banks before their treatment begins to preserve any sperm that they have because treatment for testicular cancer may have an affect on your fertility for at least 2 years following your treatment. There are statistics connecting testicular cancer with infertility in some men that is permanent. The issue of fertility should be discussed with young men so that they know what their options are before treatment for their testicular cancer begins.
The procedure that is used to treat men with testicular cancer is called: orchiectomy. If you have seminoma cancer and have caught it in the early stages no more surgery is usually required after the removal of the affected teste. Radiation therapy is usually done after the surgery to catch any remaining cancer cells.
Nonseminoma testicular cancer is usually treated with the orchiectomy and then retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), which is the surgical removal of the lymph nodes that are located in the pelvis and in the lower back. If the cancer is in the very early stages, men may choose to watch rather than do the RPLND. During the watch period signs for cancer are observed for by the male and by the doctor. During the watchful time no other medical intervention is used.
Advanced cases of testicular cancer usually are treated with chemotherapy and additional surgery to remove any cancer that has spread. Other areas of the body that may be affected by the spread of testicular cancer are: brain, bones, liver and the lungs.
You will be given a management plan following your cancer treatment to follow that may involve improving your diet and nutrition, exercise and may also involve other lifestyle changes such as reducing or eliminating the use of tobacco and alcohol. You will be asked to make follow-up appointments with your doctor to determine that you remain cancer free following your testicular cancer treatment that could include blood tests, x-rays and ultrasound examinations. Follow-up can be for several years or for as long as 30 years following your cancer treatment.