Testicular Cancer Treatments & Surgery
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Houston Methodist’s experts collaborate to offer you the most advanced options in testicular cancer treatment, including minimally invasive procedures and advanced radiation therapies. We also offer access to clinical trials that offer potentially promising testicular cancer treatments not available to the general public.
We provide advanced testicular cancer care at seven locations across the Greater Houston area, allowing you or your loved one to receive treatment close to home or work.
Testicular Cancer Treatments We Offer
Once testicular cancer has been diagnosed and staged, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Surgery for Testicular Cancer
Surgery may be performed to remove your affected testicle(s). This procedure, known as a radical inguinal orchiectomy, is used to both diagnose and treat testicular cancer. Additional surgery may be performed to remove lymph nodes behind the abdomen, which can sometimes be performed using minimally invasive procedures. Tumors that have spread to other places in your body may also be surgically removed.
If your doctor recommends removing either one or both testicles and you wish to have children, you may want to consider storing sperm in a sperm bank prior to surgery.
In some cases, reconstructive surgery may be used to help restore form and some amount of function to areas affected by testicular cancer and/or testicular cancer treatments.
Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be recommended in combination with other testicular treatments to destroy any cancer cells that may remain, such as after surgery.
Chemotherapy is often used to treat testicular cancer when it has spread outside the testicle(s), or to decrease the risk of cancer recurring after the testicle is removed.
You may receive your chemo treatments at the hospital, in your doctor’s office or, if oral therapy is prescribed, at home. Chemotherapy is usually administered in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a period of rest. If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, your care team will discuss the medications, the way in which you will take the medication and any potential side effects.
Radiation Therapy for Testicular Cancer
Radiation therapy uses a beam of high-energy X-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells in a targeted area. For testicular cancer, radiation is used primarily to kill cancer cells that have spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen, often on the same side as the testicle where the cancer started.
A carefully focused beam from a machine outside the body delivers the radiation. This is called external beam radiation. Because radiation therapy can cause problems with sperm production, special protective devices may be placed over the remaining testicle to help preserve fertility. Generally, lower radiation doses are used to treat testicular cancer compared to those needed for other types of cancer.