After an orchidectomy, men will see a hospital specialist called an oncologist. The oncologist will be able to tell men the results of surgery together with the results of blood tests and scans.
Results (Type of Cancer)
This is the most common type of testicular cancer. It usually develops and changes slowly and does not usually affect other areas of the body. This type of cancer is more common in men between the ages of 25-55, with a peak age of 35 years.
This may contain several types of cancer, including one called teratoma. Non-seminoma is rarer and tends to affect men between the ages of 15-35, with a peak age of 25 years.
Both of these cancers are known as germ cell tumours. About 95% of testicular cancers are germ cell cancers. Germ means “seed” and these cancers are connected to the sperm making process.
Some men suffer from another form of cancer called lymphoma. This is cancer of the lymphatic system. Four percent of men with lymphoma may also have testicular swelling. These men tend to be older, usually over 50.
What Stage is the Cancer?
To decide whether further treatment is needed the medical team will discuss the results of surgery, scans and blood tests. This team is known as a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) and will consist of a group of medical experts, including urologists, oncologists, radiologists (x-ray specialists) and other healthcare professionals.
The team will use their experience of similar cases and the latest medical research to recommend the best approach to any further treatment or future management and this will be explained to men at a follow up appoitment.
Some hospitals have nurses who specialise in testicular cancer (called Germ Cell Tumour Nurse Specialists) who will be able to guide men through any future treatment programme and answer questions. They may also know of local support groups which men may find helpful.
Deciding Further Treatment
Cancer which was confined to the testicle or at an early stage, may not need any immediate or further treatment. In this situation two options may be suggeted.
Surveillance-the medical team will still perform regular blood tests and scans for up to 5 years. If there is any evidence during this time that cancer may have returned chemotherapy will be recommended to cure the cancer.
Alternatively men can opt for a short dose of chemotherapy “up front” to reduce the risk of cancer returning in the future. They will still need to have further tests as above.
There is no right or wrong decision in this situation and it will be up to men to decide which option they prefer.
Surveillance or Chemotherapy
The following video discusses surveillance versus chemotherapy.
Remember to Examine Yourself
Men who have had an orchidectomy, will need to regularly check their remaining testicle as like all cancer there is a greater risk that it could return . Find out how to do this here.
To read personal stories of men who have been affected and treated for testicular cancer please click on the button below
Read Personal Stories
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