Testicular Cancer Treatment Regimen
General Information About Testicular Cancer
- Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles.
- Health history can affect the risk of testicular cancer.
- Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include swelling or discomfort in the scrotum.
- Tests that examine the testicles and blood are used to detect (find) and diagnose testicular cancer.
- Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
- Treatment for testicular cancer can cause infertility.
Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles.
The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum (a sac of loose skin that lies directly below the penis). The testicles are held within the scrotum by the spermatic cord, which also contains the vas deferens and vessels and nerves of the testicles.
The testicles are the male sex glands and produce testosterone and sperm. Germ cells within the testicles produce immature sperm that travel through a network of tubules (tiny tubes) and larger tubes into the epididymis (a long coiled tube next to the testicles) where the sperm mature and are stored.
Almost all testicular cancers start in the germ cells. The two main types of testicular germ cell tumors are seminomas and nonseminomas. These 2 types grow and spread differently and are treated differently. Nonseminomas tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas. Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation. A testicular tumor that contains both seminoma and nonseminoma cells is treated as a nonseminoma.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 20 to 35 years old.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
- Stage of the cancer (whether it is in or near the testicle or has spread to other places in the body, and blood levels of AFP, β-hCG, and LDH).
- Type of cancer.
- Size of the tumor.
- Number and size of retroperitoneal lymph nodes.
Testicular cancer can usually be cured in patients who receive adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy after their primary treatment.
Certain treatments for testicular cancer can cause infertility that may be permanent. Patients who may wish to have children should consider sperm banking before having treatment. Sperm banking is the process of freezing sperm and storing it for later use.