Life after treatment for testicular cancer
Being diagnosed with cancer can have a big impact on your life, even after you've finished treatment.
Once you finish your treatment, you’ll have regular follow-up appointments at the hospital. You’ll have blood tests for tumour markers and sometimes other scans or x-rays. If the tumour markers go up, this can be a sign that the cancer has come back. This means you need more treatment, which can still cure the cancer.
You might find it embarrassing to talk about your private parts and how the cancer or cancer treatment has affected them. It can feel awkward talking to doctors or your family about this.
Try not to let this put you off talking about things. It can be really helpful to let someone know how you're feeling, so that you don't bottle things up.
Fertility is the ability to have children. Some cancers and cancer treatments can affect a young man’s fertility, but your doctors will always think about this when planning your treatment. Your doctor will talk to you about sperm banking prior to treatment if this might happen.
If only one of your testicles has been removed, the one left should continue to make sperm and produce enough testosterone so that your fertility is not affected. You can still have sex.
If you have chemo, your ability to produce sperm might be affected. After chemo you can have a sample checked to see if this has happened. You can still have sex, but when you are on chemo (and for a few months afterwards) you should always wear a condom to protect your partner from the chemo.
If you had an operation to remove both of your testicles or the lymph nodes at the back of your tummy (abdomen), your fertility and your ability to have sex may be affected. This is a really tough thing to cope with on top of everything else that you’re going through. Your specialist nurse will provide support and help you find more advice and support if you feel you need it. There are things which can be done to help so that you can still have sex.
Our sections on relationships, sex and fertility go into all this in much more detail and might be useful for you, your partner or family.
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If you're looking for information about testicular cancer in men of all ages please see our general testicular cancer section.