If you had an orchidectomy and the cancer was completely removed, you may not need any further treatment. Instead, you will have active surveillance, with regular physical examinations, blood tests (for tumour markers) and imaging (CT scans and/or chest x-rays) for 5–10 years.
Active surveillance can help find if there is any cancer remaining (residual cancer). It can also help work out if the cancer has come back (recurrence). How often you will need check-ups and tests will depend on whether you had seminoma or non-seminoma testicular cancer. Your doctor will talk to you about a suitable schedule for you.
It’s important to follow the surveillance schedule outlined by your doctor. It may be tempting to skip appointments if you are feeling better, you were diagnosed with early-stage cancer, or you are busy. However, if cancer does come back, active surveillance can help to find it early when it is easier to treat.
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Dr Benjamin Thomas, Urological Surgeon, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The University of Melbourne, VIC; A/Prof Ben Tran, Genitourinary Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne, VIC; Dr Nari Ahmadi, Urologist and Urological Cancer Surgeon, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Helen Anderson, Genitourinary Cancer Nurse Navigator, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Anita Cox, Youth Cancer – Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dr Tom Ferguson, Medical Oncologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Dr Leily Gholam Rezaei, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; Dheeraj Jain, Consumer; Amanda Maple, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital and Headway Health, NSW.
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