Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cure rate for testicular tumors?
The good news is that surgery plus chemotherapy or radiation (alone or combined) can cure almost 100% of low stage or early disease tumors. These treatments also cure at least 85% of more advanced tumors.
What are the chances that the cancer will grow in the other testicle?
For patients diagnosed as boys, it’s very rare for a new tumor to form after treatment. In adults there is a 2 to 3% chance of a tumor growing in the opposite side. Most often, no new tumor will grow after treatment. Self-exams are very helpful for piece-of-mind.
How do I perform a testicular self-exam?
Monthly self-exams are the best way to find a tumor early. Check the testicles right after a hot bath or shower when the scrotal skin is most relaxed. The exam should be done while standing and it only takes a few minutes.
- Check each testicle. Gently but firmly roll each testicle between the thumb and forefingers of both hands. Feel the whole surface. The firmness of the testis should be the same all around. It’s normal for one testis to be slightly larger than the other.
- Find the epididymis and vas deferens. These are soft tube-like structures above and behind the testicle. These tubes collect and carry sperm. Just become familiar with how these cords feel.
- Look for lumps, swelling or things that don’t seem right. Lumps or bumps are not normal (even if they cause no pain). Pain is not normal.
- Check yourself at least once per month. Always look for any changes in size, shape, or texture.
If you find a lump, swelling, pain or other change, get it checked out. Changes are not always cancer, but if it is cancer, you have the best chance for a cure if you see your urologist right away.
Will I/my son still be able to have children after an orchiectomy?
Most boys can have children when they grow-up. Generally, normal sperm growth occurs in the final testicle, and a man can stay fertile. Still, there is a greater risk of infertility than the general population. Talk with your doctor about this before surgery. Sperm banking and fertility coaching are options. Survivors of testicular cancer can involve fertility physicians early on (often within 6 months).
How long does it take for a child to heal from an inguinal orchiectomy?
This is an outpatient procedure so most boys return home the same day. Your son should avoid contact sports for at least two weeks, but should be able to return to school within one week.
How long does it take for a man to heal from an orchiectomy?
The scrotum will be swollen after surgery. The swelling most often goes down within two to four weeks. You should be able to do most of your normal activities after two to three weeks. Wait for the incision to heal before having sex. Avoid lifting heavy objects or things that call for a lot of physical effort for a few weeks.