Testicular cancer treatment
Your medical team will advise you on the best treatment for you. They will consider:
- your general health
- the type of testicular cancer you have
- the size of the tumour
- the number and size of any lymph nodes involved
- whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. If testicular cancer does spread, it most commonly spreads to the lymph nodes in the pelvic and lower abdominal regions.
In almost all cases, an orchidectomy is done to remove the affected testicle. If the cancer hasn’t spread, this may be the only treatment you need. However, after the operation, you will need to have regular check-ups and tests to ensure that the cancer hasn’t come back. This is called surveillance.
If additional treatments are needed, they may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of treatments to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent the cancer from coming back. If the cancer does not respond to chemotherapy, you may need further surgery to remove lymph nodes from the abdomen. This is called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND).
Learn more about:
- Fertility concerns
- Making treatment decisions
- Radiation therapy
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and RPLND can cause temporary or permanent infertility. If you may want to have children in the future, ask your doctor for a referral to a fertility specialist before treatment starts. You may be able to store sperm for later use (sperm banking).
For more on this, see Fertility and cancer.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; A/Prof Nicholas Brook, Senior Consultant Urological Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital and The University of Adelaide, SA; Clinical A/Prof Peter Grimison, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and The University of Sydney, NSW; Dr Tanya Holt, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Radiation Oncology Princess Alexandra Hospital Raymond Terrace (ROPART), QLD; Brodie Kitson, Consumer; Elizabeth Medhurst, Genitourinary and Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
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