Testicular Cancer Treatments

There are three main treatment options for testicular cancer.

  • Radical inguinal orchiectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both testicles and possibly the lymph nodes in the abdomen. After surgery it's possible to have prosthetic, or artificial, testicles placed inside the scrotum. This surgery will not interfere with erections or orgasms, though it may temporarily affect some men's ability to ejaculate.
  • External beam radiation therapy kills cancer cells with the use of high-dose x-rays or other sources of high-energy radiation. Because radiation may interfere with sperm production at least temporarily, many men store their sperm at a sperm bank before treatment begins.
  • Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancer cells that have spread outside the testicles. The drugs are most often given intravenously on an outpatient basis.

Rarely used to treat testicular cancer, a bone marrow transplant involves removing a patient's bone marrow, treating it to kill any cancer cells, then preserving it by freezing. The patient then undergoes chemotherapy and possibly radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. The frozen marrow is later thawed and injected into the patient's veins.