Testicular Cancer Treatment
The progress in treating testicular cancer has been dramatic.
In the 1960s, 90 percent of the men with the disease died of it, whereas today 90 percent of them survive.
If a malignant testicle is suspected, a testicular ultrasound is conducted. Next comes a blood test for certain proteins produced by cancer cells. If these tests strongly suggest cancer, a biopsy follows. This involves surgical removal of the testicle, a process known as a radical inguinal orchidectomy.
It can be a traumatic experience for a young man worried about his love life and his potency.
Luckily, sexual performance is not related to this problem, at least not physiologically, and the remaining testicle isn't affected by the cancer, either, since it is an independent gland.
One testicle is more than capable of producing the requisite number of sperm to pass along the family genes.
Cancerous cells in a testicle spread quickly, first to the lymph nodes of the abdomen and chest and then throughout the body. But most men whose cancer has progressed this far can still be cured - including the 40 percent who did not detect the cancer in its early stage - by a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Men with early seminomas receive, after the orchidectomy, X-ray therapy in the pelvic and abdominal areas.
The healthy testicle is shielded from radiation, thus preserving its reproductive viability. Lymph nodes are removed from the rear of the abdomen of some testicular cancer patients. If the malignant cells have reached the lymph nodes of the chest and other organs, chemotherapy is used. This does pose a great danger to male fertility, and most men are advised to make a sperm donation at a reputable sperm bank before undergoing treatment.
Jim Shaw - Men's Health