Testicular Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- What is testicular cancer?
- What are testicular cancer risk factors and causes?
- How is testicular cancer detected? What are testicular cancer symptoms and warning signs?
- How is testicular cancer diagnosed?
- How is testicular cancer treated? What are the side effects of treatment for testicular cancer?
- Is follow-up treatment necessary for testicular cancer? What does it involve?
- Are clinical trials (research studies) available for men with testicular cancer?
- Testicular Cancer At A Glance
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Is follow-up treatment for necessary? What does it involve?
Regular follow-up exams are extremely important for men who have been treated for testicular cancer. Like all cancers, testicular cancer can recur (come back). Men who have had testicular cancer should see their doctor regularly and should report any unusual symptoms right away. Follow-up varies for different types and stages of testicular cancer. Generally, patients are checked frequently by their doctor and have regular blood tests to measure tumor marker levels. They also have regular x-rays and computed tomography, also called CT scans or CAT scans (detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine). Men who have had testicular cancer have an increased likelihood of developing cancer in the remaining testicle. Patients treated with chemotherapy may have an increased risk of certain types of leukemia, as well as other types of cancer. Regular follow-up care ensures that changes in health are discussed and that problems are treated as soon as possible.
Are clinical trials (research studies) available for men with testicular cancer?
Yes. Participation in clinical trials is an important treatment option for many men with testicular cancer. To develop new treatments, and better ways to use current treatments, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is sponsoring clinical trials (research studies with people) in many hospitals and cancer centers around the country. Clinical trials are a critical step in the development of new methods of treatment. Before any new treatment can be recommended for general use, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease.
People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Further information about clinical trials is available at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials on the NCI's Web site. The Web site offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies by linking to PDQ®, the NCI's comprehensive cancer information database.
- Nearly all testicular cancers are one of two general types: seminoma or nonseminoma. Other types are rare.
- This disease occurs most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39. It accounts for only 1% of all cancers in men.
- Risk factors include having an undescended testicle, previous testicular cancer, and a family history of testicular cancer.
- Symptoms include a lump, swelling, or enlargement in the testicle; pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum; and/or an ache in the lower abdomen, back, or groin.
- Diagnosis generally involves blood tests, ultrasound, and biopsy.
- Treatment can often cure testicular cancer, but regular follow-up exams are extremely important.
American Cancer Society, Inc. Cancer Facts and Figures 2005. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc., 2005. Also available at http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2005f4PWSecured.pdf on the Internet.
U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov
Last Editorial Review: 5/24/2005
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