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Cancer answers: Is testicular cancer treatable?

Written by Community Health Network on 4/24/2014 7:00:00 AM

By Anuj Agarwala, MD, a Community Health Network board certified hematologist, medical oncologist and internal medicine specialist, and an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician.

Testicular cancer is very treatable and in the majority of cases, curable. It has been viewed as a model cancer for how cancers can be cured, even when it has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized). It has a five-year survival rate of 95 percent.

In almost all cases, the affected testicle will be surgically removed. If the cancer was isolated to only the testicle, it's likely your doctor will continue to evaluate you with blood tests and imaging to be sure the cancer does not affect the other testicle. In advanced testicular cancers, chemotherapy, further surgery to remove lymph nodes (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection), and/or radiation may be utilized.

For more information about how testicular cancer is treated at Community, check out our cancer care page.


Infertility and testicular cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 4/17/2014 7:00:00 AM

Testosterone levels and infertility can be affected by cancer treatment, but it differs from person to person.

Testicular cancer normally only develops in one testicle. If that testicle is removed, the other testicle can usually make enough testosterone to keep hormone levels up. The age of the person and the pre-treatment gonadal function also play a large role in the testosterone level after treatment.

However, if the both testicles have been removed or if a new cancer develops, supplemental testosterone can be given. Most often this is in the form of a gel or patch that is put on the skin or a monthly shot.

Men who develop testicular cancer can also experience issues with fertility, with chemotherapy and radiation patients being at the highest risk for infertility. Patients who undergo a non-nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection are likely to have fertility issues due to problems with ejaculation. However, sperm banking is offered to patients prior to starting cancer treatment if fatherhood is something the patient wants to consider. Additional options, like in vitro fertilization, also exist to help men father children post-treatment.

Concerned about infertility or low hormone levels?

Call our cancer care experts at 800-777-7775 to have your questions answered.


Cancer answers: How is testicular cancer detected?

Written by Community Health Network on 4/15/2014 7:00:00 AM

By Anuj Agarwala, MD, a Community Health Network board certified hematologist, medical oncologist and internal medicine specialist, and an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician.

Your doctor will obtain a detailed medical history from you and perform a physical examination, including an examination of the testicles. The next step is typically an ultrasound. This is a painless test in which a probe is placed over the testicle(s) and the images are evaluated by the doctor. This test alone can often determine whether or not there is cancer. However, blood work, X-rays and/or CT scans may be performed depending on your individual situation.

Ask Dr. Agarwala

Submit your cancer questions to Dr. Agarwala and other Community cancer experts to have them answered.


Does having inflammatory bowel disease increase my colon cancer risk?

Written by Community Health Network on 3/25/2014 7:00:00 AM

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease may have an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Patients with ulcerative colitis have an increased risk, and longer duration of having the disease increases the risk even further. For individuals with Crohn’s disease there is data supporting the association with colorectal cancer, but less so than with ulcerative colitis.

For anyone with an underlying gastrointestinal disorder/condition, colonoscopy screening is recommended at age 45 and close follow-up is needed.

Schedule a colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is the most thorough screening for colon cancer. To schedule your screening call 800-777-7775.


Cancer answers: How is colon cancer treated?

Written by Community Health Network on 3/19/2014 9:00:00 AM

Anuj Agarwala, M.D., cancer doctorBy Anuj Agarwala, M.D., board certified in hematology, internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Agarwala is an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician.

Not all cancers are the same. Each cancer has its own unique properties and patterns requiring different strategies to treat them. Therefore, our approach to treating colorectal cancer is different from treating other cancers.

When it comes to colorectal cancer specifically, our goal - where possible - is to cure the individual. This becomes easier to do when the cancer is caught early. When patients undergo screening colonoscopies and cancerous polyps are found we can remove them. When tumors are discovered in early stages we can often perform surgery to remove the cancer.

After a surgery there are times when further treatment, like chemotherapy, may be recommended. Chemotherapy is a group of medications that vary based on the type of cancer, and may be given by mouth or intravenously, to kill cancer cells. There are several reasons that may lead to this treatment, but the most common is when cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Colon cancer treatment

Cancer treatment is patient-specific at Community. To learn more about how we treat colon cancer patients at Community Cancer Care, ask Dr. Agarwala.


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To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!



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