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Testicular Cancer Treatment

Testicular Cancer Treatment
Testicular Cancer
Causes and Risk Factors

Testicular cancer treatment
Treatment for testicular cancer is usually very successful. In fact, most men treated for cancer of the testes can be cured, even if the cancer has spread beyond the testicles. Treatment depends on the type of cancer (seminomas or non-seminoma) and whether it has spread beyond the testes. Specific treatment for testicular cancer will be based on:

  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • extent of the disease
  • your age
  • your medical history
  • your opinion or preference
  • your overall health
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

Treatment goals include:

  1. Destroying cancer cells and preventing recurrence.
  2. Keeping cancer from spreading, slowing its growth, or destroying cancer cells that have spread.
  3. Easing symptoms by shrinking tumors or managing other symptoms.

Chemotherapy (chemo) is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy administration will depend upon the type and stage of cancer treated.

High-dose chemotherapy  with stem cell transplant  - This method consists of giving high doses  of chemotherapy and replacing blood forming cells destroyed by the cancer treatment.

Regional – Chemotherapy drugs are placed directly into a specific location in the body, and the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas.

Systemic – During this treatment, chemo is taken by oral medications or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and reach cancer cells throughout the body.

Clinical trials
Some types of new treatment for testicular cancer are now being tested in clinical trials. Clinical trials aim to discover if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Some clinical trials for testicular cancer are open only to men who have not started treatment.

Fertility treatment
If diagnostic and staging tests confirm a testicular cancer diagnosis, men may have problems with current or future fertility. In fact, many men diagnosed with testicular cancer have few or no sperm at the time if diagnosis. Likewise, the active treatments for testicular cancer can directly or indirectly cause fertility problems due to low sperm count, or problems with ejaculation. Semen cryopreservation can help preservation sperm by freezing sperm at a local sperm bank.

Follow up testing
Follow-up tests may be needed to help monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of testicular cancer treatments. Some of the tests that were performed to diagnose or stage may be repeated. Decisions about whether to continue change, or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. This is sometimes called re-staging. Lifelong clinical exams are also very for men diagnosed with testicular cancer important. Monthly check-ups once per month are suggested during the first year after surgery, every other month during the next year, and less often after that.

Finding testicular cancer early is important to successful treatment and survival. Although routine screening for testicular cancer has not been shown to be effective, a testicular self-examination (TSE) performed on a monthly basis may help detect cancer at an early stage before it spreads. Testicular self exam includes regular inspection and palpation of the testicles. Men and boys should know the normal weight, texture and consistency of their testicles in order to compare them with abnormailities. Examination should be done once a month after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal sac is relaxed. Men roll each testicle between the thumb and forefinger to examine for any lumps. Any lumps or abnormalities should be reported to a doctor immediately.

Surgery is usually performed in the cases of both seminoma and nonseminomas. Additionally, surgeons may remove tumors that have spread to other places in the body, either partly or entirely. Doctors may also recommend chemotherapy  or radiation therapy after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells , called adjuvant therapy.

Orchiectomy - Initially, all men diagnosed with testicular cancer require removal of the affected testicle during an orchiectomy.

Radical inguinal orchiectomy – This is a surgery that is performed to remove the testicle and/or lymph nodes and may be performed during diagnosis and staging.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. The way the radiation therapy is administered depends on the type and stage of cancer being treated. The two types of radiation therapy that doctors currently use to treat testicular cancer include:

External radiation therapy - External radiation therapy is administered via a machine outside the body that sends radiation toward the cancer.

Internal radiation therapy - Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer.

Many men are frightened of cancer treatments and the related side effects. However, if no treatment is given, the cancer is likely to continue to grow, develop slowly and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can eventually stop these parts of the body working properly. Although many of the treatments can cause side effects, these can usually be controlled with medicines.

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Tags: cancer treatments, cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, cancer cells, Cancer, fertility treatment, fertility problems, radiation therapy, administration, after surgery, normal weight, new treatment, Chemotherapy, orchiectomy, medications, sperm count, lymph nodes, treatments, diagnosis, radiation
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