Advancements in the oncology field have widened the range of available options for testicular cancer treatment. Before beginning a treatment plan, a healthcare provider will discuss these options with their patient to help them determine the best solution based on their condition. However, even though the decision should be made alongside a healthcare provider, having some level of knowledge about the treatment options available to you is helpful.
Surgery is one of the more invasive means of treatment for this type of cancer. Suppose the cancer is contained and safe to remove. In that case, a provider might opt to remove the affected cells, which may involve the entire testicle, as part of a procedure known as a radical inguinal orchiectomy.
If cancer has spread to the tissue surrounding the affected testicle, the provider might even opt to remove the second testicle if it is in the best interest of the patient's long-term health. A healthcare provider might also consider this procedure if the cancer is aggressive and at an increased risk for metastasizing or spreading.
Regarding the degree of invasiveness, radiation therapy for testicular cancer falls lower on the scale than other treatment options. Unlike surgery, which involves the removal of the cancer cells, radiation aims to kill cancer cells. As a result, the anatomy of the structure remains intact.
As part of this procedure, an X-ray beam is targeted toward the cancer cells in the lymph nodes near the testicular region. While the X-ray beams are potent, they do not work immediately. A patient must undergo several rounds of radiation before the cancer cells are destroyed. As you might imagine, the more advanced the growth, the more rounds of therapy that might be necessary.
This treatment method involves therapeutic therapy in the form of a pharmacological option. This medication can be administered in several ways, but intravenous and pill forms are common options for testicular cancer. Similar to radiation, chemotherapy must be administered throughout several sessions, known as cycles.
Additionally, if you have an advanced stage of testicular cancer, you may be administered more than one chemo drug at a time to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Chemotherapy is not invasive, but it comes with side effects that may require the patient to take some time off for recovery. However, each person is different, so the degree of side effects may vary.
Use this information to increase your knowledge base to become a more educated patient or supportive advocate. Contact a cancer treatment center to learn more.