Testicular Cancer Treatment
Treatment options for testicular cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. You can rest assured knowing that Saint John’s has experts in laparoscopic and robotic-assisted testicular cancer surgery should those procedures be required.
You may receive more than one type of treatment, depending on several factors, including the grade of the tumor, where it is located and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. Before we set up a specific treatment plan for your testicular cancer, we will take the following into account:
- Your age, overall health and medical history
- The extent of the disease
- Your tolerance of specific medicines, procedures or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
We will sit with you and discuss the options available so that you can be as informed as possible when making the decision.
Nearly all cancerous testicles are surgically removed. This is called radical inguinal orchiectomy.
At Saint John’s we use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. These include laparoscopic surgery, which is done through small incisions using thin surgical tools guided by a tiny video camera. This surgery has several benefits, including less pain and a shorter recovery time.
Saint John’s also specializes in robotic-assisted surgery for testicular cancer. This minimally invasive procedure is performed with the da Vinci Surgical System.
Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, your urologic oncologist may remove lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen. This is called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. It is a long and complex operation that requires skill and experience, and Saint John’s specializes in this procedure.
Radiation is mainly used to kill cancer cells that have spread from the testicles to lymph nodes. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth. This treatment is similar to getting an X-ray, but the radiation is more intense.
Drugs are usually injected into a vein and travel throughout the body to destroy cancer that has spread. Chemotherapy also is used to decrease the risk of cancer returning after a cancerous testicle is removed.