• Testicular Cancer

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care

    How We Treat Testicular Cancer

     

    Testicular cancer treatment

    Testicular cancer is rare — there are only about 9,000 new cases in the United States per year. So it is important that you choose a treatment center with an experienced team. At the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), our staff is highly skilled in dealing with testicular cancer. We see about 130 patients per year — an average of 2-3 new testicular cancer patients per week.

    We will work with you to ensure that you understand your testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment options. We create a unique plan for every patient, and we consider all aspects of your cancer and health history when making our recommendations.

    If you would like a second opinion...

    If you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer by another doctor, and would like a second opinion, please contact us at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC). Our team provides second opinions for all stages and kinds of testicular cancer.

    We will work with your primary care physician or urologist to obtain your medical records, x-rays and pathology slides for our review. Our expertise can be invaluable when deciding where to pursue treatment.

    Some reasons to consider a second opinion include:

    • To confirm your diagnosis
    • To learn more about your testicular cancer from a knowledgeable specialist who has treated other patients just like you
    • To better understand your options for treatment
    • To learn if you are eligible for clinical trials

    Phone: 877-442-DFCI or 877-442-3324
    Online: Complete the Appointment Request Form 

    Testicular cancer treatment by stage
    • If you are diagnosed with Stage 1 testicular cancer, removal of the cancerous testicle may be all that is needed. There may also be options for additional treatment, such as a short course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. We will help you understand your situation and will work together to develop a treatment plan that is best for you.
    • If you are diagnosed with Stage 2 testicular cancer, you will likely need treatment beyond removal of the testicle. Our team will work with you to determine if and what kind of chemotherapy or radiation may be appropriate. In some cases, lymph-node removal is advised. We will help you understand how to make these choices.
    • If you are diagnosed with Stage 3 testicular cancer, which is also very curable, treatments will need to be more aggressive and will include chemotherapy. If you have Stage 3 testicular cancer, we will help you understand your condition and treatment options.
    Steven Chang, MD, MS, Carol Benson, MD, and Jerome Richie, MDTesticular Cancer Treatment Center team members Steven Chang, MD, MS, Urology; Carol Benson, MD, Radiology; Jerome Richie, MD, Urology  
    Surgery

    Surgical removal of the testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) is a highly effective treatment for testicular cancer and is performed immediately to determine the stage of your cancer. Our testicular cancer surgical team at DF/BWCC is one of the most experienced in the country, and has been working together for more than a decade. Removing your testicle will not affect your ability to have children in the future or your ability to achieve and sustain an erection. After surgery and any other treatment, you will continue to meet with your team of doctors for regular scans and health check-ups.

    Some men dislike the thought of being "unequal," with a testicle on one side but not the other. A "fake" testicle, called a prosthesis, can be placed in the scrotum at the time of surgery for any man who wishes to have one. This is not a decision you need to make immediately. Our urologists will work closely with you to prepare you for surgery and help you feel comfortable with the changes in your body.

    Surgery takes place in the operating rooms at Brigham and Women's Hospital, whose urology program is widely recognized as one of the best in the country. Post-surgical care and other inpatient care are provided by the DF/BWCC team at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

    Find out more about your hospital stay at Brigham and Women's Hospital 

    Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or stop cancer growth. Radiation therapy is mainly used for Stage 2 seminoma.

    Radiation therapy for testicular cancer is given by our experienced DF/BWCC team. Our radiation oncologists use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest imaging techniques, and are assisted by experienced and expert staff.

    Chemotherapy

    Medical oncologists are doctors who study and treat cancerous tumors and deliver chemotherapy (drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from dividing). Chemotherapy may be used after surgery to eliminate remaining cancer cells or keep them from returning. Chemotherapy is provided at the Dana-Farber Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, one of the most advanced outpatient centers in the country, which was designed with the help of patients, for patients.

    Throughout your treatment, our team of nurses, nutritionists, social workers and others works to minimize the toxicities and side effects of chemotherapy and maximize your quality of life. Our medical oncologists manage your cancer drug treatment; they also provide health and lifestyle counseling long after your chemotherapy treatment has ended.

    Learn about combination and high-dose chemotherapy for testicular cancer patients.

    For referring physicians

    Because the patient's primary care physician or community specialist is an integral part of the patient's care team, we are committed to collaborating in the care of your patient.

    If you are a physician and have a patient with testicular cancer, we look forward to working with you.

    Find out more about how to refer a patient to DF/BWCC.

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