The testicles are two glands inside the scrotum that make sperm and testosterone. The testicles are made up of several types of cells — each of which can develop into one or more types of cancer. Every kind of testicular cancer has a different treatment method and survival rate.
At NewYork-Presbyterian, our testicular cancer specialists have highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancers. Our collaborative team of urologists, surgeons, pathologists, fertility and sexual health specialists, medical and radiation oncologists, and oncology nurses offer comprehensive care, choosing the most effective course of treatment for you.
Our Approach to Testicular Cancer Care
Testicular cancer is very rare — representing about 0.5 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though it accounts for such a small amount of new cancers, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men between 15 and 34 years.
It is also one of the treatable cancers. In recent years, clinicians at NewYork-Presbyterian and other cancer facilities have refined treatment options and reduce the risk of side effects.
Surgery. Surgery is typically the first treatment option for testicular cancers. The type of surgery performed depends on type of testicular cancer. Radical inguinal orchiectomy is a removal of the cancerous testicle(s). All testicular tumors are typically treated with this surgery, even those that have spread. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is a surgery that removes the lymph nodes that are located behind the organs in your abdomen.
Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses a beam of high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells that have spread to lymph nodes. Seminoma cells are susceptible to radiation. If radiation is part of your treatment, you can receive it in our state-of-the-art radiation therapy centers, which feature the latest technologies.
Chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Some men who have had surgery then receive chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells in the body and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. If you do not respond well to chemotherapy higher doses of chemotherapy may be useful; however, it can severely damage the bone marrow. To use high-dose chemotherapy, our doctors also perform stem cell transplant — a process by which stem cells are taken from the bloodstream before treatment and frozen. After the chemotherapy, the stem cells are placed back in the body.
Testicular cancer and its treatment can adversely affect a man's fertility. Many men who develop testicular cancer are in their mid-20s and are understandably concerned about their ability to have children in the future.
NewYork-Presbyterian's male fertility teams can work with you to address your concerns and your options for fertility preservation. We also work closely with the infertility specialists at Columbia University's Center for Women's Reproductive Care and the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Next Generation Therapeutic Care through Research
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medicine — the research arms of NewYork-Presbyterian — are paving the way for newer treatments. Through these institutions, our patients have access to clinical trials that are helping to advance our knowledge of how cancer cells are formed and spread. To learn more about clinical trials and research opportunities, visit our clinical trials page.
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
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