Patients who come to the Duke Cancer Institute for testicular cancer treatment benefit from two top ranked clinical programs: Duke's urology service and the Duke Cancer Institute.
The Duke Cancer Institute's experienced physicians focus on diagnosing and treating testicular cancer while preserving normal function.
Our multidisciplinary team -- which brings together urologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists -- work closely together treat testicular cancer.
Each patient's care plan is designed to fight their cancer aggressively while enabling them to maintain a high quality of life during and after treatment.
Novel treatments are available through a robust clinical trials program.
Surgery to remove the affected testicle is the main treatment for all stages of testicular cancer.
An incision is made in the groin and the entire testicle is removed. Lymph nodes in the groin may also be removed. Some patients choose to have a prosthetic testicle filled with saline inserted during the same procedure, to achieve a more natural look.
Some patients will receive chemotherapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Removal of lymph nodes in the groin is a complicated procedure that may inadvertently sever nerves that help control ejaculation. Damage to these nerves will not prevent ejaculation, but they may make it harder to father children.
Patients who want to have children in the future may want to discuss nerve-sparing surgery or sperm banking with their doctor.
Chemotherapy is used to treat testicular cancer that has spread outside the testicle. It may be combined with surgery.
To treat testicular cancer, chemotherapy is most often given systemically, via a vein. Learn more about chemotherapy for urologic cancer.
High dose chemotherapy combined with a stem cell transplant is used to treat testicular cancer that has returned after previous chemotherapy.
Combining chemotherapy with a stem cell transplant enables doctors to use higher doses of chemotherapy to kill as much of the cancer as possible while preventing the infections and bleeding that can occur when the chemotherapy damages bone marrow.
During this treatment, blood-forming stem cells (early cells that can develop into many types of blood cells) are removed from the patient and stored. Then high dose chemotherapy is given to the patient.
Afterward, the patient receives an infusion of his own stem cells, which should grow into healthy blood cells.
During radiation therapy, radiation (high-energy rays) is used to kill tumor cells. To treat testicular cancer, the radiation is administered externally by a machine.
Radiation therapy is used most often in men who have a specific type of testicular cancer called seminoma, which is more sensitive to radiation. Radiation may be used after surgery.
Learn how to make an appointment at the Duke Cancer Institute.