Testicular Cancer Treatment
This surgery involves removing the testicle and spermatic cord where it exits the body to identify and likely treat the majority of cancers localized to the testis. For men whose cancer has spread from the testicle and who have metastatic testis cancer (elsewhere in the body) or cancer in the lymph nodes of the retroperitoneum, radical orchiectomy is an important first step in the diagnosis and management of disease.
Unlike radical orchiectomy, only part of the testicle is removed. Before undergoing testis-sparing surgery, an extensive consultation should occur with the patient and his family regarding expectations and possible outcomes in the operating room.
Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
Testis cancer has a very predictable pattern of spread. The primary landing zone for metastases from testis cancer are the lymph nodes of the retroperitoneum — the area around and between the aorta and inferior vena cava at the level of the kidneys. Therefore, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) is an important surgical option for men with testis cancer.
Chemotherapy cures many men with advanced testicular cancer that has spread beyond the testicles. Chemotherapy typically includes a platinum-containing medication (e.g., carboplatinum, cisplatin) and can be given for one or multiple cycles depending on the stage of disease. Chemotherapy is prescribed by a medical oncologist.
Radiation therapy is used for men with Stage II seminoma. Radiation has an excellent success rate, but may be associated with long-term toxicities such as second cancers and early cardiovascular disease. Radiation therapy is prescribed by a radiation oncologist.
The best way to preserve fertility is by sperm banking prior to beginning cancer treatment. Even if you are not ready to start a family, sperm can be stored for many years.
Labs needed prior to sperm cryopreservation: HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, rapid plasma reagin (RPR).
Please call the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Laboratory at 410-583-2714 for more information and to schedule an appointment.
There are several agencies that provide financial assistance for qualifying patients. Please inquire with your practitioner at Johns Hopkins for guidance.