How is testicular cancer treated?

Stethoscope

Surgery to remove the testicle (orchidectomy)

Almost all men with testicular cancer have surgery to remove the affected testicle. This operation is known as an orchidectomy. Read more about surgery to remove your testicle.

Surgery might happen quickly

You may have surgery to remove your testicle only a day or two after first going to hospital. 

This can be a shock. You may need some time afterwards to come to terms with everything. If you need to talk to someone, you can call our Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 to talk to a nurse or to be put in contact with a man who has had testicular cancer.

Treatment after orchidectomy

After orchidectomy your doctor will decide if you need any further treatment. In general, the type of treatment you receive after orchidectomy will depend on:

  • The stage of your cancer 
  • The type of testicular cancer: seminoma or non-seminoma
  • If the cancer has spread or not
  • Your general state of health

Treatment for seminoma testicular cancer after orchidectomy 

Active surveillance

If you have early-stage seminoma you may have regular blood tests, X-rays and scans to check your condition. This means you will only have extra treatment if your condition changes. Read more about having active surveillance.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be given, depending on the stage of the disease. Read more about chemotherapy.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy can be given after surgery but this is rare. Read more about radiotherapy.

Treatment for non-seminoma testicular cancer after surgery

Active surveillance

Most men with stage 1 non-seminoma will have active surveillance - regular blood tests, X-rays and scans to check your condition. This means you will only have extra treatment if your condition changes.

RPLND surgery

Surgery to remove the lymph nodes at the back of your abdomen (tummy) may be needed. This is known as retro peritoneal lymph node dissection or RPLND.  Read more about RPLND surgery.

Chemotherapy

If your cancer has spread to other parts of your body or you are thought to have a high risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence) your doctor may recommend chemotherapy.

If you have stage 1 non seminoma but have risk factors for recurrence you may have just 1 or 2 cycles of chemotherapy after surgery.

If your cancer has spread outside the testicle you may need to have more cycles of treatment. Your doctor will explain to you how much treatment you need. 

Having children after treatment for testicular cancer

Some treatments can affect your ability to father a child (your fertility). Ask your doctor about this before treatment starts. 

Even if you’re not thinking about having children at the moment, it’s a good idea to keep your options open for the future. For example, you may be able to store your sperm before treatment starts.

Treatment for cancer that comes back after treatment (recurrence)

If the cancer comes back it can still be treated and sometimes cured. Read more about treatment for recurrent testicular cancer. 

For more information

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1800 200 700

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