Treatment overview

The three main treatments for testicular cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Your treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer, and whether it’s a non-seminoma or seminoma.

Testicular cancer that hasn’t spread outside the testicle (stage 1)


For some men surgery to remove the testicle (orchidectomy) may be the only treatment that’s needed.


After surgery, you’ll be asked to come back to go to the clinic regularly to have your tumour markers measured, as well as other tests. This is called surveillance. If the cancer comes back, scans and blood tests will help your doctors pick it up early and treatment can usually cure it.

Attending your surveillance appointments is very important. If you move house, make sure the hospital knows your new address. It is also important to let your specialist know if you get any new symptoms or feel unwell between appointments. You can arrange an earlier clinic appointment if you need to.

Adjuvant treatment

You may need treatment with chemotherapy after surgery. This is known as adjuvant treatment. It’s given to reduce the small risk of the cancer coming back.

  • If you have a non-seminoma, you may have one or two sessions of adjuvant chemotherapy. The size of the tumour, how it looks under a microscope, and tumour marker levels (if present) help doctors decide whether you need adjuvant treatment.
  • If you have a seminoma, you’ll usually be offered a single dose of adjuvant chemotherapy.

Your doctor will explain why adjuvant treatment is advisable for you. Some men may decide not to have treatment and to have surveillance instead. They may want to avoid treatment that might not be necessary. Talk about this with your doctor and make sure you have enough information to help you make your decision.

Testicular cancer that has spread outside the testicle (stages 2-4)

If the cancer has spread outside your testicle, you’ll be given chemotherapy or occasionally radiotherapy after your orchidectomy. Treatment may depend on the exact stage of the cancer. Your doctors will talk to you about the treatment they feel is best for you.

  • If you have a non-seminoma that has spread, you may need to have three or four sessions of chemotherapy. Some men need more intensive chemotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer, certain risk factors and how they respond to the initial chemotherapy.
  • If you have a seminoma that has spread, treatment may be with three or four courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or radiotherapy with a single dose of the chemotherapy drug carboplatin. Your doctor will discuss with you the treatment they think is best for you. 

After chemotherapy, some men may need surgery to remove the retroperitoneal lymph nodes if they are enlarged.

The decision on treatment is a very personal thing but I chose to have it. I reckon that I would not be able to forgive myself if it recurred and I had not tried everything to prevent it.


If testicular cancer comes back

If testicular cancer comes back, treatment can usually cure it in most men, even if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment and fertility

Treatments for testicular cancer can sometimes affect your ability to father a child. If you need treatment after having an orchidectomy, you may be advised to store some of your sperm (sperm banking).

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The stage of a cancer describes its size and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

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Storing sperm

If treatment might affect your ability to father a child (fertility) your doctor will advise you to store sperm first.