The first treatment is surgery to remove the testicle. After that, most men have three choices:
surveillance, chemotherapy, and lymph node surgery. About 30 out of 100 men who choose surveillance will need more
treatment. But any of the three choices will cure the cancer in about 99 out of 100 men with nonseminoma
Surveillance means that you are
being watched closely by your doctor but are not having further
You have exams, chest X-rays, and blood tests regularly
during the first few years, as well as
CT scans. It can be hard to go to the doctor's office
that often. Unless your cancer comes back, the number of checkups and tests
will gradually decrease over the next 10 years.
With surveillance, you may be able to avoid the risks and
side effects of lymph node surgery or chemotherapy. About 70 out of 100
men with nonseminoma cancer who choose surveillance do not need more treatment later. This means that about 30 of those 100 men do need
Even when cancer is
found after a period of surveillance, it is often easy to cure if it's
found early. Because of this, many doctors consider it reasonable for some men
to choose surveillance.
often called "chemo," is the use of very strong drugs to kill cancer cells. The
most common chemo for nonseminoma testicular cancer is called cisplatin
combination therapy. It uses several different medicines.
Chemo is usually given at a
low dose, so long-term side effects are rare.
Lymph node surgery
The full name for this surgery is
retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, or RPLND for short. It is surgery to
remove lymph nodes in the lower back and pelvis. These lymph nodes may contain
During the early phases of stage I nonseminoma testicular
cancer, it can be very hard to tell if these lymph nodes have cancer without
taking them out. In the past, doing this often caused infertility. Modern
nerve-sparing methods have greatly lowered the chances