Testicular Cancer Survivorship Knowledge…
For All Testicular Cancer Survivors
Testicular cancer (TC) is a disease of survivors. In the United States, approximately 9,000 men are diagnosed each year and the estimated survival rate is 95%. That means that there are hundreds of thousands of TC survivors at any given moment! Just because most men are “cured” of cancer, does not mean there are not lasting effects from treatment. These documents are to inform you about the long-term effects of your treatments and help you plan for future well-being throughout your life.
Testicular cancer surveillance involves tumor markers, imaging tests, physical examination and interaction with a medical professional.
Timing and frequency of testing depends on your specific cancer and treatments. Guidelines like the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN, https://www.nccn.org) should guide cancer follow-up.
Self-exam of the unaffected testicle should be performed monthly and the unaffected testicle should be examined annually by a healthcare professional.
Laboratory and imaging tests may stop at 5 years, but you should see a healthcare professional annually forever!!
Male Reproductive Health
Testicular cancer can affect a man’s ability to produce testosterone and sperm. The risk of low testosterone (hypogonadism) and infertility (low sperm counts) are influenced by the number of treatments a man has gone through.
Survivorship regarding male reproductive health includes knowing the symptoms of hypogonadism, consideration of regular blood work for testosterone levels, and early referrals to endocrine and fertility specialists if having symptoms of hypogonadism or trouble conceiving a pregnancy respectively.
TC Survivors should be aware of a slightly higher risk of a second caner in their lifetime when compared to the general population.
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and family history increase the risk of a second cancer.
TC survivors should be screened for common cancers (color cancer, prostate cancer, etc.) by current screening guidelines and see a healthcare provider on an annual basis for routine health evaluations.
A healthy lifestyle will promote longevity and may reduce the risk of developing another cancer.
Emotional difficulties are extremely common for men surviving TC.
Difficulties that interfere with the ability to complete daily activities (like interactions with loved ones or employment) warrant evaluation by a mental health professional.
Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or illicit drugs.
Involvement in TC communities can help some TC survivors with emotional difficulties.
Click here to Print our TC Survivorship Guide
This survivorship guide was created and modified from the following resources:
The American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/survivorship
Cancer.Net, The American Society of Clinical Oncology https://www.cancer.net/survivorship/what-survivorship
The Children’s Oncology Group https://childrensoncologygroup.org/index.php/survivorshipguidelines
The national Comprehensive Cancer Network https://www.nccn.org/