Life After Treatment

Transcript

Ongoing care is very important after treatment for testicular cancer. Your provider will explain what follow-up tests you may need and how often they should be performed. It’s important that you are aware of any signs or symptoms that your cancer may be coming back or that any new problems are arising.

Your follow-up care will usually include regular physical exams, along with blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, or other imaging scans. Be sure to keep all of your appointments with your providers and to follow their instructions carefully. Report any new or recurring symptoms to your provider immediately. There’s a slight chance that men who have had cancer in one testicle may develop cancer in the other testicle at a later time.

Testicular cancer or its treatment can make a man infertile. Before treatment starts, men who wish to have children later may decide to save sperm in a sperm bank for future use. In some cases, this may be difficult because testicular cancer can cause low sperm counts. If one testicle remains, fertility may return, either temporarily or permanently after treatment. For example, fertility often returns two years after the completion of chemotherapy.

It is not unusual to feel fatigued after completing your cancer treatment. Allow yourself time to recover, both physically and emotionally. It’s important that you don’t force yourself to return to work or your regular activities immediately. Give your body the rest it needs. You’ll feel better in the long run.

Do as much as you can to help yourself stay healthy and active. If you smoke, try to quit. Your provider can usually refer you to an effective smoking cessation program. Be sure to eat a balanced diet of healthy foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Once your strength begins to return, try to exercise a few hours each week. Your provider can suggest the types of exercise that are right for you.

Finally, keep in mind that your physical and emotional needs are unique. If at any time you’re having trouble coping, talk with your providers about your concerns. They may also suggest a support group or mental health professional to help you during your recovery.