How is testicular cancer treated?

This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience. The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor. Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options. Making treatment decisions In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in treating testicular cancer. Surgical methods have been refined, and doctors know more about the best ways to use chemotherapy and radiation to treat different types of testicular cancer. After the cancer is diagnosed and staged, your cancer care team will discuss treatment options with you. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for testicular cancer can include: Surgery Radiation therapy Chemotherapy (chemo) High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant In some cases, more than one of type of treatment might be used. You may have different types of doctors on your treatment team, depending on the stage of your cancer and your treatment options. These doctors may include: A urologist: a surgeon who specializes in treating diseases of the urinary system and male reproductive system A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy Many other specialists might be involved in your care as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and other health professionals. See Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care for more on this. It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. (See the section “What should you ask your doctor about testicular cancer?” for some questions to ask.) When time permits, getting a second opinion is often a good idea. It can give you more information and help you feel good about the treatment plan you choose. Where you are treated is important. There is no substitute for experience. You have the best chance for a good outcome if you go to a hospital that treats many testicular cancer patients. The next few sections describe the different types of treatments used for testicular cancers. This is followed by a discussion of the most common treatment options, based on the type and extent of the disease.