Testicular Cancer Treatment
Almost all testicular cancers are formed in germ cells (those that form sperm). The main types of testicular tumors are seminomas and non-seminomas. Semi-class tumors tend to grow and spread more quickly. Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation, but both types are very sensitive to chemotherapy. If a testicular tumor has both seminoma and non-seminomatous cells, it is treated as a non-seminoma.
The three main types of treatment for testicular cancer are:
Surgery– This treatment may include removal of testicles (orchiectomy) and removal of associated lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy). Orchidectomy is usually performed for both seminomadic and non-seminomatous testicular cancer, while lymph node dissection is only used for non-seminomas. Surgery can also be performed in certain situations to remove tumors from the lungs or the liver if they have not disappeared after chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy– This treatment uses high-dose X-rays. Radiation could be used after surgery in patients with seminoma tumors to prevent tumor return. Radiation is usually limited to the treatment of seminomas.
Chemotherapy– This treatment uses drugs like cisplatin, bleomycin, and etoposide to kill cancer cells.
In the first stage, treatment is usually surgery to remove the testicle. For stage I seminomas, the standard treatment is monitoring, carboplatin chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the lymph nodes of the abdomen. For non-seminoma tumors, management consists of monitoring, chemotherapy with bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin, or surgery to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen.
Unfavorable risk factors include highly concentrated tumor markers in the blood and tumors in organs other than lungs such as the liver, bones or brain.
If the malignant tumor is a recurrence of previous testicular cancer, treatment usually consists of chemotherapy using different drug combinations such as ifosfamide, cisplatin, etoposide, vinblastine or paclitaxel. This treatment is sometimes followed by an autologous bone marrow transplant or peripheral stem cell transplant.