Commonly Used Treatment Options For Testicular Cancer
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Testicular cancer is the condition in which the cells present in the testicles become cancerous or malignant. Testicles, also known as gonads or testes, are the male sex glands which store and produce the sperm as well as produce the male hormone called testosterone in men.
These hormones are responsible for development of reproductive organs in our body as well as all other physical characteristic possessed by the males. These testicles are located below the penis in the form of a pouch known as scrotum.
Treatment For Testicular Cancer
The occurrence of testicular cancer has seen a sudden rise in last few years, but the good news is that almost 95 percent of the cases of this cancer can be cured. Obviously, the treatment would be most successful if it is done in the early stages.
In most cases, testicular cancer can be successfully treated with the help of radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. The treatment would differ in each person according to the condition of each person, their general health, stage of cancer, age of the patient, and various other factors.
Surgery involves removing one or both the testicles by making an incision on the groin. This procedure is known as radical inguinal orchiectomy. Most men are concerned as they believe that losing the testicle would affect their sexual abilities or make them sterile.
However, the truth is that even the presence of a single testicle can help a man get normal erection as well as produce normal sperm. Thus, removing one testicle will not make a person impotent or infertile.
Radiation therapy, popularly known as Radiotherapy, makes use of high energy rays for killing the cancer infected cells as well as for shrinking the tumors. The therapy is local, which means that only the cancer cells in the treated areas are affected by it.
External radiation is also used for treating seminomas and is usually aimed at lymph nodes present in the abdomen region. This kind of radiation is usually given after the surgery is performed. However, non-seminomas is less responsible to radiation due to which this therapy is not used when a person is suffering from this kind of testicular cancer.
Radiation therapy exerts its effect on both the cancerous cells as well as the surrounding normal cells. Common side effects of radiation therapy include skin changes at sites where treatment is provided, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite. It may also interfere with sperm production, but most patients regain fertility after 1 or 2 years.
Chemotherapy involves use of anti-cancer drugs for killing the cancerous cells. In case of testicular cancer patients, adjuvant therapy is usually given for destroying the cancer cells which are left behind. However, in many cases, chemotherapy is also used as the initial treatment, in case the cancer has already reached an advanced stage and has spread outside the testes when diagnosed. Most of the anti-cancer drugs are given to the patient through an injection inserted into a vein.
If you or someone around you has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, you must discuss all your concerns related to sexual functioning and fertility with your physician. The fact is that many patients diagnosed with testicular cancer often face problems in fertility, even before treatment of the cancer. In such cases, patients can explore the available options such as sperm banking.