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Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer occurs inside the testicles, located in the scrotum under the penis. Testicles produce sperm and male sex hormones. While a relatively rare type of cancer, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men 20 to 35 years old. About 8,700 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year. Testicular cancer is highly treatable, even when it has spread beyond the testicles.

Types of Testicular Cancer

Seminomas
Seminomas in general are more sensitive to radiation therapy, and are classified as: classic, anaplastic or spermatocytic.

  • Classic Seminoma accounts for about 85 percent of all seminoma cases and occurs mainly in men ages 30-50.
  • Anaplastic Seminoma accounts for about five percent of all cases of seminoma and is more aggressive than the other seminoma types. It occurs at ages close to those seen in classic seminoma.
  • Spermatocytic Seminomas, only about two to eight percent of all seminoma cases, appear to be less aggressive, with nearly half of cases occurring in men over 50.

Nonseminomas
There are four types of nonseminomas: choriocarcinoma, embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, and teratoma. Most contain at least two or more of these different cell types and are considered mixed. Often, these are diagnosed in men 45 to 60 years old, and grow and spread more quickly.

Stromal Tumors
Stromal tumors, which account for under 4 percent of adult testicular cancers, are categorized by two types: Leydig cell tumors and Sertoli cell tumors. These tumors are usually cured by surgery but are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Secondary Testicular Tumors
Tumors can start in other spots of the body, most commonly from lymphoma, and then spread to the testicles.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

Advanced radiation oncology tools. Sylvester is one of only five medical centers in the country with ViewRay™ — MRI-guided radiation therapy. Our RapidArc® radiotherapy system delivers intensity modulated external radiation therapy (IMRT). These tools lead to more efficient and effective treatments, shorter treatment times, pinpoint accuracy in tumor targeting, and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital.  If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with easy access to the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.

The only designated Cancer Center of Excellence in South Florida. We treat cancer, and only cancer, giving you the best potential outcomes. The likelihood of surviving cancer after five years at a Dedicated Cancer Center is 17 percent higher than at other hospitals.

Multidisciplinary care teams with nationally recognized expertise. Your care team is made up of experts in all aspects of your exact type of cancer. All of your physicians, nurses, and more collaborate to save lives.

Imaging expertise using the most advanced technology available. Our providers’ expertise allows them to distinguish between normal and abnormal findings and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan for the right diagnosis.

Access to simultaneous reconstruction techniques. Testicular implants can be inserted during the same surgery as a testicle removal.

Some of the nation’s most experienced surgeons. Thanks to our expertise in nerve-sparing procedure, you can enjoy a higher quality of life and less post-operative pain.

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Treatments


Testicular cancer treatment is based on several factors: overall health and medical history, disease reach, and other individual factors. You have the services of our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists who will work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you and your cancer.

  • Surgery

    Surgery is nearly always the first treatment for testicular cancer. However, removal of the testicle (inguinal orchiectomy) and some of the lymph nodes in the lower abdomen may occur during diagnosis and staging. Stage I patients are cured with removal of the testicle 85 percent of the time, without chemotherapy.

  • Chemotherapy

    The goal of chemotherapy is to kill remaining cancer cells so cancer doesn't come back. Often, patients deemed a good or intermediate risk are cured with chemotherapy after the testicle is removed. These drugs can be given through by mouth or through a vein and come in tablet form.

    • If you require intravenous (infusion) chemotherapy, you can receive it at the Comprehensive Treatment Unit (CTU) at Sylvester's main location in Miami. This 12,000-square-foot unit includes 33 recliners and 11 private rooms.

    • If you'd like, you can also have your infusion treatments at the Kendall, Plantation, Hollywood, Coral Springs and Deerfield Beach locations.

  • Radiation Therapy

    External radiation therapy targets high levels of radiation to the cancer cells. Radiation treatments are painless and usually last only a few minutes. Most testicular cancers can be cured with surgery and chemotherapy. However, seminoma, a type of testicular cancer, can be treated with radiation therapy after surgery with a cure rate approaching 98 percent.

  • Supportive Care

    Palliative care specialists and psychologists are available to help you fit cancer treatment into your life. Palliative care can decrease your stress levels and other burdens. Specialists at the Department of Urology at the University of Miami also offer fertility counseling for male cancer patients to help you explore your options and make decisions regarding fertility preservation before you undergo treatments, such as removal of the testes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.


Tests


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, procedures for diagnosing testicular cancer may include the following:

  • Ultrasound Exam of the Testicles

    This procedure is painless and can show areas that are dense, possibly indicating a tumor.

  • Serum Tumor Marker Test

    A blood sample is checked to measure any increased levels of specific substances called tumor markers in the blood. In cases of testicular cancer, tumor markers used to detect the disease include beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).

  • Inguinal Orchiectomy

    With this surgical procedure, the entire testicle is removed through an incision in the groin. This avoids seeding cancer cells if a tumor is present. After removal, a tissue sample can be viewed under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

  • CT-PET Scan

    This shows detailed pictures of organs to image cancer within the testicles and glucose uptake activity of tumor cells, locating involvement with other organs or lymph nodes.

  • Abdominal Lymph Node Dissection

    This procedure uses surgery to take out lymph nodes in the abdomen to obtain a sample of tissue to check for signs of cancer. For patients with non-seminoma, removal of the lymph nodes can help stop the disease from spreading. Cancer cells in the lymph nodes of patients with seminoma can be treated with radiation therapy.

  • Tumor Marker Levels

    This blood test is repeated after surgery to determine cancer stage. It can show if all cancer is gone or if more treatment is needed.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.