Metastatic testicular cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the testicle to the rest of the body. Fortunately, testicular cancer is still highly curable even at this stage. In this article, I'll explain a little more about how testicular cancer spreads and the treatments that can be used.
Tumor Type Is Important
The type of tumor is very important when considering the spread of this cancer. There are actually several different types of testicular tumor.
CT Scan & X-Rays
CT scans and X-rays are the standard method of scanning the body for tumors that may have spread beyond the testicle. Even if your affected testicle is removed and your first scans are clear you must continue getting scans for up to 10 years as it can take a long time for any metastatic cancer to develop and show up.
Predictable Pattern Of Spread
Testicular cancer has, in most cases, a highly predictable pattern of metastasis (spread). It normally first appears in the retroperitoneum (abdomen) and next in the lungs. Even if it has spread this far it is still highly curable.
The spread is predictable because the cancer spreads via the lymphatic system.
In a few aggressive tumor types, there can be spread via the blood to potentially any site in the body e. g. the brain and the kidneys. Treatment will be different for such tumor types.
If testicular cancer has spread, it is still usually highly treatable. Radiation is seldom used these days and the most common treatment is 3 courses of BEP chemotherapy. Sometimes, 4 courses of EP chemotherapy are used instead.
For cases where spread is greater and tumors are more aggressive, VIP chemotherapy or high dose chemotherapy may be used instead.
Worried about or recently diagnosed with testicular cancer? Get the concise lowdown on this cancer from a survivor here: Testicular Cancer Library .