Surgical Treatment – The Gold Standard
The surgical removal of the testicles (radical inguinal orchiectomy) is the primary method of treatment and is usually performed after finding a testicular mass suspicious for cancer to ensure the best outcome. This is an outpatient procedure. Following the removal of the testicle, you may elect to have a saline prosthesis, similar to a breast implant, implanted into the scrotum to look and feel like a real testicle.
Treatment Options for Advanced Testicular Cancer
If your doctor determines that your cancer is in the more advanced stages of the disease, surgery can be combined with additional treatment methods including:
- Chemotherapy - Drugs are given intravenously (IV), by mouth or by injections into a muscle to destroy any cancer cells that remain after surgery. This is done under the direction of an oncologist, a specialist in cancer chemotherapy.
- Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection - If the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or the diagnosis of the tumor is high grade or unfavorable, your doctor may perform this procedure to remove the affected nodes.
- External Beam Radiation Therapy – Previously the most common treatment for patients diagnosed with seminoma cancer, this therapy is utilized much less frequently today. External Beam Radiation Therapy involves high energy X-rays that are precisely targeted at any cancerous cells that have spread to the lymph nodes.
A Factor To Consider – Preserving Your Fertility
While you focus on your treatment and beating your cancer, you may also want to think about preserving your fertility for the future. Because the testes are the male reproductive organs that produce sperm, you may wish to store your sperm in a sperm bank. While surgery to remove one testes should not affect your fertility, both radiation and chemotherapy, if advised by your doctor, may cause temporary or permanent infertility.
Discuss your options with your doctor, who can advise you on measures to take to preserve fertility and help you understand how treatment may affect your body and overall health in the long-term.