Testicular Cancer

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Testicular cancer is cancer of the testicles. The testicles are glands located inside the scrotum (sack of skin hanging behind the penis). Most testicular cancer starts in the sperm-making cells of the testicles. Testicular cancer occurs most commonly in men aged 15 to 39 years.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Even with treatment, cancer may spread or come back. Some types of treatment can cause you to be infertile, or unable to father a child. After surgery, you may be at an increased risk for a blood clot. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. If the cancer is not treated, it may spread and become life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

You may need extra oxygen

if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

Exercise:

Move your legs, ankles, and feet as directed while you are in bed. This will help decrease your risk of blood clots. Your caregiver will tell you when it is okay to get out of bed.

Medicines:

  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

Tests:

You may need more than one of the following tests to help your caregivers plan your treatment:

  • Blood tests: These may be done to check for cancer markers.

  • Chest x-ray: This is a picture of your heart and lungs. It is used to see if the cancer has spread.

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may be done to see your testicles and scrotum.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your chest and abdomen. It may show if the cancer has spread. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • Biopsy: Tissue from the testicle is tested to determine the type of testicular cancer.

  • Lymphangiography: This procedure uses dye to see if the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes.

  • Bone scan: This test can show if cancer has spread to your bones.

Treatment:

Your treatment may change if the cancer is not being controlled. You may have some of the following treatments alone or together:

  • Surgery: The testicle that has cancer in it can be removed. Tissue from the testicle is tested to learn what type of cancer cells were growing in your testicle. If you have lymph nodes that have cancer in them, they may be removed also.

  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses x-rays or gamma rays to treat cancer. Radiation kills cancer cells and may stop the cancer from spreading.

  • Chemotherapy: This medicine is used to treat cancer by killing cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be used to shrink lymph nodes that have cancer in them.

Drink liquids as directed:

Drink extra liquids to avoid dehydration. You will also need to replace fluid if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments. Ask your caregiver which liquids to drink and how much you need each day.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Testicular Cancer (Inpatient Care)

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