Testicular cancer is most often treated with surgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be an option to kill cancer cells after surgery or if the cancer is spread to other parts of the body. Your multidisciplinary team of cancer experts will answer your questions and recommend treatment options for your testicular cancer based on your unique diagnosis and needs. Common treatments for testicular cancer include:Surgery
The two primary types of surgery for testicular cancer are:
Radical inguinal orchiectomy: With a radical inguinal orchiectomy, your surgeon will remove the testicle with the tumor, as well as the spermatic cord that connects the testicle to the abdomen.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: If your doctor suspects that the cancer cells may have spread to nearby lymph nodes, this procedure may be performed at the same time, or during a second surgery.
During this type of surgery for testicular cancer, an incision is made in the abdomen, and lymph nodes behind the abdomen are removed and examined by a pathologist for evidence of tumor cells. In some cases, the surgeon may be able to perform this operation by making a much smaller incision and using a narrow, lighted tube (a laparoscope) to see inside the abdomen, and long surgical instruments to remove the lymph nodes. Patients generally recover faster and have fewer complications after laparoscopic surgery than after a standard open procedure.Chemotherapy
Your oncologists may use chemotherapy after surgery to destroy remaining testicular cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be used to treat testicular cancer that has spread to other organs, or that has come back after surgery.
In some cases, when the cancer has returned after chemotherapy or become resistant to the therapy, a more intensive chemotherapy regimen in combination with a stem cell transplant may be recommended. In this procedure, doctors collect normal blood-forming stem cells from your bloodstream over the course of several days. These stem cells are saved and frozen. Then, after the high-dose chemotherapy is administered, you receive an infusion of your own stem cells, which settle in your bone marrow and begin making new blood cells again.Radiation therapy
Using a variety of radiation therapy delivery systems, our doctors are better able to target difficult-to-reach lymph nodes in the abdomen or pelvis that may contain testicular cancer tumor cells. Our radiation oncologists also use this technology to direct higher radiation doses at testicular cancer cells, while reducing exposure to normal, healthy tissue, such as to the bowel or kidneys. When radiation therapy is used to treat testicular cancer, special precautions are taken to shield the remaining testicle and preserve fertility. Types of radiation therapy that may be used for testicular cancer include:
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is the standard-of-care treatment for delivering radiation to lymph nodes in the abdomen or pelvis that may be hiding testicular cancer cells.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows doctors to use higher radiation doses than traditional therapies would allow in these areas. At the same time, IMRT helps to spare more of the surrounding healthy tissue from harmful doses of radiation.
TomoTherapy® uses built-in CT scanning to confirm the exact shape and location of a tumor before treatment begins.
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