Testicular cancer is a highly treatable disease, with more than 97% of patients cured. More than half of the testicular cancer cases in the United States affect young men between the ages of 15 and 34.
The Testicular Cancer Team at Smilow Cancer Hospital provides compassionate care while offering the most advanced diagnostic, medical and surgical treatments available.
Typically, the most common type of testicular cancer is a germ cell tumor which can be broken down into two categories. One is a seminoma and the other is a non seminoma germ cell tumor. Early diagnosis and treatment are directly related to cure rate, therefore, the our team members strive to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment plan are established quickly. Testicular cancer patients usually present with a new mass in the testicles that was discovered upon self-exam or at an annual physical. Different types of treatments are available for patients with testicular cancer. These can include:
SurgerySurgery to remove the testicle (inguinal orchiectomy) and some of the lymph nodes may be done at diagnosis and staging. Tumors that have spread to other places in the body may be partly or entirely removed by surgery.
Even if all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery is removed, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left.
Radiation therapyRadiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
SurveillanceSurveillance is closely following a patient's condition without giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results. It is used to find early signs that the cancer has recurred (come back). In surveillance, patients are given certain exams and tests on a regular schedule.
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant is a method of giving high doses of chemotherapy and replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by the cancer treatment. Stem cells (immature blood cells) are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the patient or a donor and are frozen and stored. After the chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into (and restore) the body’s blood cells.
At Yale we believe that the patient should be involved in all decision making and we help to guide them through this process as best we can so that they understand their options fully.