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Cancer of the Testicle (cont.)

Follow-up for Testicular Cancer

Follow-up is the care patients receive after their cancer is diagnosed and treated.

  • Follow-up in testicular cancer varies and is based on the type of cancer, the cancer's response to treatment, and the physician's preference.
  • The idea is to monitor the patient's recovery and look for early signs of cancer recurrence.
  • Follow-up involves regular visits to the urologist for physical examination and tests.
  • The urologist will probably want to see the patient every few months for the first two years, then every six to 12 months for five years or longer.
  • Patients treated for testicular cancer can expect periodic CT scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests for life.

Cancers can recur after treatment, and accurately predicting which men will have a recurrence is impossible. Recurrences, if detected and treated early, have a high rate of cure. The patient's best way to ensure that a recurrence is caught early is to carefully follow the physician's follow-up recommendations.

Testicular Cancer Prevention

There is no known way to prevent testicular cancer.

All men (an in particular, those 18-44 years of age) should perform monthly testicular self-examinations. The point of these examinations is not to find a cancer but to get familiar with how your testicles feel so that you will notice if something changes.

  • The best time to do the exam is after a warm bath or shower, when the muscles are most relaxed.
  • Stand in front of a mirror that allows full view of the scrotum.
  • Examine each testicle, one at a time.
  • Use two hands: Hold the testicle between the thumbs and first two fingers of both hands, with the thumbs in front and the fingers behind. Gently roll the testicle around between these fingers, carefully feeling the testicle and the cord, trying not to miss a spot.
  • Locate the epididymis, the soft tube at the back of each testicle that carries the sperm. Learn to recognize it.
  • Men should not feel any pain during the exam.
  • If a person finds anything that alarms or concerns them, have it checked out by a primary-care provider or a urologist.
  • If anyone has trouble with the exam, ask a health-care provider how to do the correct method of self-exam of the testicles.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2016
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