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Testicular cancer

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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.

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