Early Stage Testicular Cancer – Surveillance Is Best Follow-Up Strategy

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 2nd, 2018
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Editor's Choice Academic Journal Main Category: Urology / Nephrology Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology Article Date: 17 May 2013 - 0:00 PDT

Current ratings for: Early Stage Testicular Cancer - Surveillance Is Best Follow-Up Strategy

In a new long-term study conducted in Denmark, researchers analyzed a national clinical database and found that 99.6% of patients who only underwent surveillance (following a successful surgery) were alive after 10 years of being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Surveillance means carrying out routine CT scans, physical exams, chest X-ray exams, and blood tests for a period of five years after surgery.

In some countries, such as Denmark (where the study took place), the preferred follow-up strategy is surveillance alone. In the U.S. half of patients undergo either radiotherapy or chemotherapy as follow-up treatment, while the other half only receive surveillance.

There has been a recent increase in the number of patients undergoing surveillance alone in the U.S., a trend that will likely continue following this new finding.

Treatment options such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can cause very harmful side effects, including a higher risk of secondary cancers (such as leukemia). Therefore, other follow-up strategies that don't incur such drastic risks, such as surveillance alone, are preferred.

Mette Saks Mortensen, MD, a PhD student at the Department of oncology at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, said:

We also characterized key prognostic factors for relapse, which can help us identify high-risk patients who may need adjuvant therapy instead of surveillance. However, in general, seminoma stage I patients can safely be followed on a surveillance program."

A total of 1,822 men with stage I seminoma, who underwent successful surgery were followed on a five year surveillance program. The researchers were able to follow the patients for an average of 15.4 years.

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Early Stage Testicular Cancer - Surveillance Is Best Follow-Up Strategy

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