Testicular Cancer Chemotherapy
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Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. These drugs usually target rapidly dividing cells. They may be delivered intravenously, by injection or by mouth. They then travel through your bloodstream to attack cancer cells throughout your body, and for this reason chemotherapy is sometimes also called systemic therapy. Chemotherapy for testicular cancer is usually given in cycles, to allow your body time to recover between treatments.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), chemotherapy may be used after surgery to kill any remaining testicular cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be used to treat advanced testicular cancers that have spread to other organs, or that have come back after surgery.
In some cases, a more intensive chemotherapy regimen in combination with a stem cell transplant may be recommended. If testicular cancer chemotherapy may be an option for you, your care team at CTCA will work together to select the right type of chemotherapy and to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Stem Cell Transplantation for Testicular Cancer
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation is sometimes recommended for testicular cancer that has come back after previous treatment.
One of the limitations of standard chemotherapy is the effect on normal cells within the body, particularly the blood cells which play a vital role in protecting the body from infections, carrying oxygen to organs throughout the body and clotting the blood in the case of a cut. These effects normally limit the dose of the chemotherapy drug that can be used. However, in some cases doctors can use much higher doses of chemotherapy if they replace the damaged blood cells through a stem cell transplant.
In this procedure, doctors collect normal blood-forming stem cells from your bloodstream for several weeks before you undergo chemotherapy. These stem cells are saved and frozen. Then, after the high-dose chemotherapy is administered, you receive an infusion of your own stem cells, which settle in your bone marrow and begin making new blood cells again.
If high-dose chemotherapy for testicular cancer may be an option for you, your care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will explain the process in detail, including potential risks and benefits, and answer all of your questions so that you can make an informed decision.
Managing the Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Patients are often worried about the unpleasant side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss and mouth sores.
Your care team at CTCA proactively uses treatment approaches that can reduce or moderate these side effects, such as prescribing certain medications to reduce nausea and vomiting, or to help maintain blood counts.
Additionally, your care team will work together, based on your individual needs, to help you manage the side effects of testicular cancer chemotherapy. Nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine and mind-body medicine can all help to reduce chemotherapy-related side effects so you can feel comfortable during treatment.
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