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.
Surgery is the first treatment for testicular cancer. After surgery you might have one of the following or a combination of them:
- monitoring (surveillance)
Treatment by cancer stage
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.
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.
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.