Testicular Cancer

Surveillance after teratoma

After an operation to remove a testicle for cancer it is important that men are seen regularly for blood tests, x-rays and other checks (see 'Follow-up'), at least for the first few years.

Men diagnosed with a teratoma, with no evidence of metastases (spread of the disease), either have two courses of adjuvant chemotherapy to prevent any spread, or they may be monitored (surveillance), with frequent blood tests and x-rays. With a teratoma the blood tests are very reliable in detecting recurrence. The overall survival rate is very good with either approach.

One man initially had blood tests every two weeks after his orchidectomy, followed by monthly blood tests and x-rays. Another man assumed that surveillance was the normal route for men in his situation. He was shocked four weeks later by the manner in which he was informed that the tumour markers in his blood had started to rise again, which indicated that the cancer had spread. A nurse casually gave him the news when taking his blood.

Last reviewed December 2014.

 

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