A testicular cancer diagnosis is serious, and it can feel really scary. There are treatment options and lots of support available if you’re facing testicular cancer.
What are the treatments for testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is very treatable, especially when it’s caught early. Your doctor will talk to you about testicular cancer treatment options. Depending on the stage and type of cancer, your treatment plan might include:
Surgery to remove the tumor
Your doctor may run tests to figure out which treatments are right for you. Talk with your doctor about your options, and be honest about your concerns.
Make a list of questions you’d like to ask at each appointment. You also may find it helpful to seek a second opinion from another specialist when deciding the best treatment for you. In some cases, you might be offered a few options for treatment.
Will my testicular cancer treatment affect my sex life?
Nearly all people with testicular cancer have it only in one testicle. After treatment, your remaining testicle produces all the needed hormones that affect your sex drive, facial hair, voice, etc. And removal of a testicle doesn’t affect your ability to have an erection.
Some people may feel uncomfortable about the look or feel of their scrotum after being treated for testicular cancer. They may choose to have an artificial testicle — a prosthesis — put in their scrotum. Discuss this option with your doctor if you’re worried about how you’ll look and feel.
You may need testosterone hormone replacement to help improve your sexual desire, function, and masculine attributes — especially if both of your testicles are removed. Chemotherapy can also temporarily decrease sexual desire and erectile function, but it usually comes back soon after the treatment is finished.
Can my testicular cancer treatment make me infertile?
Certain testicular cancer treatments may make it harder to get someone pregnant. If one of your testicles is removed, it doesn’t affect the amount of sperm that your remaining testicle makes. But treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can lower your sperm count, either temporarily or permanently.
If you’re going to be treated for testicular cancer, talk with your doctor about your fertility options. Some people choose to store some of their sperm before they get treated, which can be used later on to make a pregnancy.
Where can I get more information?
You can get more information about testicular cancer from your local Planned Parenthood health center or from the American Cancer Society.