Author(s): van Basten JP, Schrafford Koops H, Sleijfer DT, Pras E, van Driel MF,
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Abstract In the past 20 years, testicular cancer, which occurs in the young, has become a curable malignancy; 90\% of the patients treated will achieve long-term survival. However, there is a significant morbidity associated with the management of the disease process. The literature was reviewed concerning the current treatment strategies and prognosis, as well as the long-term sequelae of the various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Surveillance has become a key element in the management of patients with a primary (stage I) testicular non-seminoma. Although approximately 25\% of these patients will relapse, 100\% survival can be achieved with cisplatin in combination with etoposide and bleomycin (BEP). Patients with a disseminated non-seminoma are usually treated with 4 courses of BEP; an 80\% survival rate can be achieved. The long-term effects of chemotherapy include Raynaud's phenomenon, acral paraesthesia, hyperlipidaemia, nephrotoxicity, infertility and hormonal disturbances. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection or resection of residual disease following chemotherapy are associated with a low mortality and morbidity rate, ejaculatory dysfunction excepted. However, with specific modifications in technique (e.g. nerve-sparing) antegrade ejaculation can be preserved in the majority of patients. Radiotherapy is used in stage I and II seminoma. With the conventional dose of 25-30 Gy to the retroperitoneal and ipsilateral iliac lymph nodes, temporary dysfunction of the germ and Leydig cells of the remaining testis may occur by scatter radiation. Patients with advanced seminoma are treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. To date, testicular cancer patients can receive appropriate curative treatment with acceptable acute toxicity, depending on the therapy given. The detrimental effects of late toxicities require careful study and follow-up. However, little attention is paid currently to quality of life aspects, in particular the impact of the disease and its treatment on general well-being, including sexual function.
This article was published in Eur J Surg Oncol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research