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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 non seminoma)
  • 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.

The main treatments

The main treatments for testicular cancer are:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy

You may have one or more of these. 

Treatment by cancer stage

Stage 1

If you have very early cancer (stage 1) you have surgery to remove the whole testicle. After these treatments your doctor monitors you regularly to see whether the cancer comes back. They call this surveillance.

If there is a high risk of your cancer coming back you might also have chemotherapy.

Stage 2

If you have a:

  • stage 2A seminoma you might have radiotherapy after removal of the testicle
  • stage 2B seminoma you might have radiotherapy or chemotherapy
  • stage 2C seminoma you usually have chemotherapy

Stage 2 non seminomas (teratomas) are treated with chemotherapy after removal of the testicle.

Stage 3

If you have a 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

If you have non seminoma, you might need surgery to remove any cancer cells in the lymph nodes at the back of the tummy (abdomen) or in the lung that have not shrunk away 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: 
11 Sep 2014
  • Guidelines on Testicular Cancer
    P Albers (chairman) and others
    European Association of Urology, 2012

  • 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

  • TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours (7th edition)
    International Union Against Cancer    
    L.H. Sobin, M.K. Gospodarowicz, Ch. Wittekind
    John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2009

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