Follow-up after treatment for testicular cancer
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for testicular cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists and urologists) and your family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.
Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:
- any new lump or swelling
- cough or trouble breathing
The chance of testicular cancer recurring is greatest within 2 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time. Even if testicular cancer recurs, it can be treated.
Schedule for follow-up visits
Most men will have follow-up for testicular cancer for 5–10 years after initial treatment. Follow-up visits are usually scheduled:
- every 2–6 months for the first 3 years
- every 6–12 months after 3 years
During follow-up visits
During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping.
Your doctor may do a physical exam, including:
- checking the remaining testicle
- feeling lymph nodes in your groin, abdomen and chest
- listening to your lungs
- checking your blood pressure and pulse
Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
- blood tests to check serum tumour marker levels to see if they returned to normal after treatment
- chest x-rays to check if cancer has spread to the lungs
- CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis to look for cancer that may remain after treatment (residual disease) or that has spread
If a recurrence is found, your healthcare team will assess you to determine the best treatment options.
Questions to ask about follow-up
To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.
Facing the financial burden of cancer
The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.