Treatment & Procedures
Once testicular cancer has been diagnosed and staged, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Certain treatments for testicular cancer may cause infertility. If you wish to have children, discuss this issue with your doctor before starting treatment.
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, either laparoscopically (using narrow tubes inserted through small incisions) or through traditional open surgery. 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.
Learn more about surgery, including the roles that different surgical approaches have in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.
Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be recommended in combination with other treatment methods, such as after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given orally (pill form), via injection or through an intravenous (IV) line. The drugs enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body to destroy cancer cells.
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, any side effects and the way in which you will take the medication and any potential side effects.
Learn more about chemotherapy treatment, including how it works within your body and what to expect while undergoing treatment.
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.Radiation therapy usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time.
Learn more about the variety of innovative radiation therapies offered at Houston Methodist.
For some patients, participating in a clinical trial may be the best treatment option. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a potential new treatment. Learn more about our current cancer-related clinical trials.