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Treatment decisions

Find out about how your doctor decides which treatment you need, the types of treatment you might have and treatment by stage.

Deciding which treatment you need

A team of doctors and other professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you. They are called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). Your treatment depends on:

  • where your cancer is
  • how far it has grown or spread (the stage)
  • the type of cancer (seminoma or teratoma)
  • your general health and level of fitness
  • the level of particular proteins (markers) in your blood

Your doctor will discuss your treatment, its benefits and the possible side effects with you.

Treatments

Surgery is the first treatment for testicular cancer. After surgery you might have one of the following or a combination of them:

  • monitoring (surveillance) 
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy

Treatment by cancer stage

Stage 1

For very early cancer (stage 1) you have surgery to remove the whole testicle. After this your doctor monitors you regularly to see if the cancer comes back. This is called monitoring (surveillance).

You might have chemotherapy after surgery if your cancer has a high risk of coming back. 

Stage 2

After surgery for seminoma further treatment depends on the stage of the cancer.  

  • For stage 2A you might have radiotherapy.
  • For stage 2B you might have radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
  • For stage 2C you usually have chemotherapy.

Stage 2 teratomas are treated with chemotherapy after removal of the testicle.

Stage 3

For stage 3 testicular cancer you have chemotherapy after your testicle is removed. 

After the chemotherapy, if you have seminoma, you won't need further treatment. Your doctor will monitor you regularly.

After chemotherapy for a teratoma you might have surgery. This is to remove lymph nodes in the back of your tummy (abdomen) or cancer cells in the lung. You only have the surgery if the nodes or cancer cells haven’t shrunk completely.

Sperm banking before treatment

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments can lower your ability to father a child.

Your doctor will offer you the chance to store 2 or 3 semen samples (called sperm banking) before your treatment starts.

Clinical trials to improve treatment

Your doctor might ask if you’d like to take part in a clinical trial. Doctors and researchers do trials to make existing treatments better and develop new treatments.

If your cancer comes back

Testicular cancers sometimes come back after initial treatment but they can still usually be cured.

Last reviewed: 
12 Dec 2017
  • EAU Guidelines on Testicular Cancer
    P Albers and others
    European Association of Urology, 2016

  • Testicular seminoma and non seminoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up
    J Oldenburg and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2013, 24 (supplement 6 ): vi125-vi132

  • Advances in the treatment of testicular cancer

    Y Ehrlich and others

    Translational Andrology and Urology, 2015, June 4(33) pages 381-390

  • Cancer and its Managaement (7th edition)

    J Tobias and D Hochhauser 

    Wiley Blackwell 2015

  • Cancer Principles & Practice of Oncology (10th edition)

    V T DeVita Jr, T S Lawrence, S A Rosenberg

    Wolters Kluwer 2015

  • Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testicular cancer

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (nice) 2006

Information and help

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About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.