Treatment

NHS

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are the 3 main treatments for testicular cancer.

Your recommended treatment plan will depend on:

  • the type of testicular cancer you have – whether it's a seminoma or a non-seminoma
  • the stage of your testicular cancer

The first treatment option for all cases of testicular cancer, whatever the stage, is to surgically remove the affected testicle (an orchidectomy).

For stage 1 seminomas, after the testicle has been removed a single dose of chemotherapy may be given to help prevent the cancer returning. A short course of radiotherapy is also sometimes recommended.

But in many cases, the chance of recurrence is low and your doctors may recommend that you're very carefully monitored over the next few years.

Further treatment is usually only needed for the small number of people who have a recurrence.

For stage 1 non-seminomas, close follow-up (surveillance) may also be recommended, or a short course of chemotherapy using a combination of different medications.

For stage 2 and 3 testicular cancers, 3 to 4 cycles of chemotherapy are given using a combination of different medications.

Further surgery is sometimes needed after chemotherapy to remove any affected lymph nodes or deposits in the lungs or, rarely, in the liver.

Some people with stage 2 seminomas may be suitable for less intense treatment with radiotherapy, sometimes with the addition of a simpler form of chemotherapy.

In non-seminoma germ cell tumours, additional surgery may also be required after chemotherapy to remove tumours from other parts of the body, depending on the extent of the spread of the tumour.

Deciding what treatment is best for you can be difficult. Your cancer team will make recommendations, but the final decision will be yours.

Before discussing your treatment options with your specialist, you may find it useful to write a list of questions to ask them.

For example, you may want to find out the advantages and disadvantages of particular treatments. For more details on treatment options, click here.

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