Some types of testicular cancer grow slowly. It is possible that treatment can be delayed or that treatment may not be needed. In these cases, active surveillance is used. You and your doctor will monitor for new symptoms, changes in symptoms, or signs of disease progression.
When needed, the goal of treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible, while preserving testicular function. Additional treatments may help to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer. The treatment plan will often include a combination of approaches based on the characteristics of the cancer, patient's age, general health, and prognosis. Comfort measures can be provided if testicular cancer is in advanced stages.
Testicular cancer is one of the least dangerous cancers when treated. If detected early, over 95% of men survive 5 years or more. Even in men with metastatic cancer, the survival rate is about 75%.
Some forms of treatment may affect your fertility. If you plan on having children, talk to your doctor before starting treatment. You may be able to have your semen frozen for possible future use.
It is likely you will have a healthcare team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals. It is important to maintain contact with your medical team, adhere to recommended treatment, and go to any recommended appointments for best outcomes possible.
Testicular cancer treatment includes:
Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health website.
Cancer stat facts. Testis cancer. National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program website. Available at: https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/testis.html. Accessed September 11, 2017.
How are testicular tumors treated? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/testicular-cancer/treatment. Accessed September 21, 2017.
Testicular cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907377/Testicular-cancer. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2017.
Testicular cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/testicular-cancer. Updated November 2013. Accessed September 11, 2017.
Treating testicular cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/treating.html. Accessed September 11, 2017.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/testicular/patient/testicular-treatment-pdq#section/_50. Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed September 11, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP Last Updated: 9/8/2016