Treatment Programs

Testicular Cancer

An individually-tailored treatment program for testicular cancer with approaches offered at only a few cancer centers nationwide.

 

On this page you will find information to help you:

Information about Testicular Cancer

Learn More about this Condition

Testicles are part of the male reproductive system.  They produce sperm and several male hormones, including testosterone. Cancer that begins in the tissues of a testicle is called testicular cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 8,430 new cases of testicular cancer would be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, and that the disease would cause about 380 deaths. It is one of the most curable forms of cancer. 

Testicular Cancer Diagnosis
After a medical history and physical examination are completed, testicular cancer may be diagnosed by an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of one or both testicles and surrounding structures. The testicle(s) is then studied to determine if it is cancerous.

Testicular Cancer Treatment

In addition to an orchiectomy, treatment for testicular cancer may involve one or more of these options:

  • Surgery is done to remove the tumor, the testicle and possibly lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation beams to kill or shrink tumors while saving healthy tissue
  • Chemotherapy kills cancer cells through the use of intravenous or oral drugs
  • Stem cell transplantation involves removing and storing stem cells from the patient's or a donor's bone marrow; giving high-dose chemotherapy; and then returning the stem cells to the patient's body through an infusion. The process aims to promote the production of healthy blood cells
  • Clinical trials may provide access to new and promising therapies for testicular cancer

Learn more about testicular cancer on our patient education page.

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Our Genitourinary Team

New patients are generally seen within a week of referral. At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care, including:

  • Urologists and surgical oncologists experienced in the latest testicular cancer surgery approaches
  • Radiation oncologists who specialize in delivering the optimal therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissueRadiation Oncologists who specialize in delivering the highest therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
  • Medical oncologists to discuss overall prognosis and review the available treatment approaches


In addition, you may also see:

  • Pathologists specializing in urologic cancers
  • Radiologists specializing in genitourinary cancer imaging
  • Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
  • Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual side of the cancer experience
  • A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment

 

Matthew R. Smith, MD, PhD

See the Complete Team List

Matthew R. Smith, MD, PhD
Director, Genitourinary Malignancies Program

 

 

 

  

 

See the complete team list treating Testicular Cancer

 

 

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Our Approach

Testicular Cancer Treatment Program

 

The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is one of the largest and most experienced centers in New England for the diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer.

 

Innovative Approaches
Our Specialists use advanced approaches to diagnose and treat testicular cancer. Many of these approaches were developed at the Mass General Cancer Center, and may include:

  • Specialized pathology to quickly and accurately determine cancer type and stage
  • New imaging technology to more accurately determine if cancer has spread
  • Minimally invasive techniques that help lessen post-operative discomfort and recovery time

Multidisciplinary Patient Care
New patients are generally seen within a week of referral.  In keeping with your needs and wishes, we will develop your individually tailored treatment plan, monitor your care, and communicate regularly with you and your referring physician about your progress.

Expertise in Diagnosing and Staging Cancers
 

Exact diagnosis and staging are critical to finding the righttreatment for your cancer. Our team includes highly sub-specialized pathologists who work exclusively with genitourinary cancers.  They look for tumor markers that can help pinpoint prognosis (outlook) and treatment approach. This translates into quick, accurate staging of genitourinary cancers – the foundation of an appropriate treatment plan.

Our diagnostic experts are aided by advanced methods for diagnosing and staging testicular cancer, particularly new MRI techniques, including diffusion-weighted MRI, which more accurately detect cancer cells. In clinical trials, nanoparticle-enhanced MRI (developed at the Mass General Cancer Center) has shown promise for detecting cancerous lymph nodes that traditional biopsy methods may miss.

Excellence in Surgical Care
We perform a large number of testicular cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures annually.  Studies have shown patients do better when they are treated in a facility that cares for a high number of patients with the same form of cancer.  Other notable aspects of having genitourinary cancer surgery here include: 

  • Sub-specialized genitourinary surgical oncologists
  • Minimally invasive approaches
  • Intraoperative radiation, which delivers radiation to the surgical area once a tumor has been removed and while the patient is still under sedation
  • Stem cell transplantation

Pioneering Radiation Therapies
Our radiation oncologists use the most advanced imaging techniques and delivery technology. Care is taken to not only target the affected tissues with precision but also to deliver the lowest possible radiation dose to the healthy normal tissues.

Learn more about radiation therapy.

 

Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new and different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of breast cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.

Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Genitourinary Cancers also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.

The Cancer Center also offers the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program, which strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation. Click here to find out more about this program.

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Contact UsIf you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our doctors, please call the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers at 617-724-4000.

 

 

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Testicular Cancer

Cancer that develops in a testicle is called testicular cancer.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program

The Katherine A. Gallagher Integrative Therapies Program focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of Cancer Center patients, their families and friends through free wellness services such as acupuncture and yoga. These services help you take care of your whole self — mind, body and spirit.

Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center

The Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Center is a program that offers a range of support resources around the Cancer Center. The center has an ongoing mission to make support services, as well as respite and community-building areas, more accessible to patients and families throughout the Cancer Center.

The PACT Program

The Marjorie E. Korff PACT program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center provides psycho-educational support for parents who are patients.

Oncology Chaplaincy

Our oncology chaplain is familiar with the unique needs of those with cancer.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Home Disconnect

A home infusion pump may be part of your treatment plan. In some cases, you may have the option for disconnecting the chemotherapy from home. If this option applies to you, and you would prefer to disconnect from home, this instructional video will reinforce the teaching provided to you by your nurse in the Mass General cancer Center

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Request an appointment at the Cancer Center

Contact the Cancer Center to schedule an appointment with one of our cancer specialists

Discover the Cancer Center patient experience

Our approach to patient care unites cancer specialists across the hospital to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

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Make a gift to support genitourinary cancer research

With your support, the team at the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is able maintain their commitment to quality patient care and advancing discoveries.