Radical inguinal orchiectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the testicle and spermatic cord. The one hour surgery is performed through an incision in the groin while the patient is under general or regional anesthesia. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is a surgical procedure which may be performed if there is suspicion of cancer remaining in the lymph nodes. The procedure removes all of the lymph nodes connected to the affected testicle and takes approximately four to six hours to complete. Complications associated with these procedures may include bowel obstruction and inactivity, damage to surrounding organs, blood vessels and nerves, infection, infertility or lymph-filled cysts.
By using high energy X-rays, radiation is able to destroy cancer cells. The dose of radiation used to treat testicular cancer will vary depending on the type of tumor and stage of the disease. Side effects of radiation therapy may include diarrhea, fatigue, nausea and skin irritation resembling sunburn. To preserve fertility, a shield is place over the unaffected testicle during treatment.
Chemotherapy may be recommended following surgical removal of the testicle. Drugs may be adminstered intravenously, injected into muscle or ingested in pill form. Patients may experience some severe side effects including, gastrointestinal disturbances, low white and red blood cell count, skin disorders or neurological disorders.