FAQ - seminoma
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Questions about Testicular Cancer...?

I mainly want to hear stories from the Testicular Cancer survivors. My husband was just told today he has Classical Seminoma pT2, NX, MX. His Urologist said that he more then likely should be ok. He see's the Oncologist Thursday where they will do CT Scans, and according to the Urologist he will have some Radiation. What can I look forward to, what road lies ahead of us? Luckily we have a 4yr old and an 8 month old daughters.

Any stories are welcome.
I just wanted to add that he had his testicle removed last week. That's how they found out it was cancer.

Sorry about your families misfortune, my uncle had testicular cancer and he had to have one removed and had a prosthesis put in. He was quite young but he went on to have six children. He had the choice of going through radiation or the removal, he chose the removal because he was young and wanted children. He has never had any problems with anything cancer related since, is healthy and in his sixties now.  (+ info)

husband diagnosed & given 1 dose of chemo 18mnths ago now they say his markers are raised?

He had testicular cancer (classic seminoma) they removed it & gave him a single dose of chemo as a precaution.
That was 18mnths ago & at a routine appt they have said his markers are raised (what are markers?)
HCG level is up & they are testing this and his BCHG & his LPF (i think).
What does this mean ? The consultant has said they will test his blood once a week for 3 weeks & then possible start a 3 week course of chemo at the hosp & with medication at home.
Does anybody have any experience with this - what is the home medication & how/who is it administered, Unfortunatly I did not go to the appt with him & he asked none of these questions & we don't have the next consultant appt until the middle of feb - Is this to long to be left waiting? surely if his levels are rising then we should start chemo now?

A host of blood tests can assess the health of different organs and systems in your body. Some doctors order "cancer markers" or "tumour markers" to detect possible cancer activity in the body. If cancer is present, it will usually produce a specific protein in the blood, that can serve as a "marker" for the cancer. Some doctors rely on markers as an early indicator of disease progression or recurrence, with the hope of finding a local, curable tumour. If you have an elevated marker, your doctor may check that marker periodically to assess the response to the chemotherapy. But these cancer markers, unlike the more reliable "PSA" test for prostate cancer, have limitations. For example, a marker test that registers normal does not prove that you are cancer-free, nor does an elevated test prove that you have progression or recurrence of cancer. While they may help along the road to diagnosis, the use of cancer markers to find metastatic cancer has not yet translated into better survival for women with breast cancer. You also have to consider the anxiety caused not just by an elevated blood marker, but by all of the tests that may be needed to try to find out where the increased marker is coming from. These tests can also be quite costly.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), beta subunit - In adults, significant elevation of levels of beta HCG occurs only during pregnancy and in patients with trophoblastic neoplasms or nonseminomatous germ cell tumours. As a result, it is used as a tumour marker. Essentially, 100 per cent of patients with trophoblastic tumors and 40-60 per cent of patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumours, including all patients with choriocarcinoma, 80% of patients with embryonal carcinoma, and 10-25% of patients with pure seminoma are diagnosed with elevated levels of beta HCG. The serum half life of beta hCG is 24 to 36 hours, which implies that elevated concentrations should return to normal within 5 to 7.5 days after surgery if all tumour is removed. Please note that the normal HCG level is usually less than 5 miu/ml. Also note that the HCG level can become elevated (falsely positive) due to abnormally low levels of testosterone or because of marijuana use.
The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test is done to measure the amount of the hormone hCG in blood or urine. hCG levels may be measured to help determine whether he still has cancer of the testicles.
LMP, may be low molecular mass polypeptide, a protein product of an MHC linked gene, which modifies the protease activity of the proteasome by acting as a proteasome subunit. Basically, LMP dendrimers stop cancer cell proliferation by disrupting DNA.
The medication that he will take at home, would normally be in tablet form. It used to be in injection form, but there are certain problems associated with this and it has now been restricted for use in hospital. It is not necessarily ‘urgent’ because his markers appear raised. We are already in February and if the markers had shown markedly elevated, he would have been examined further at that time. When you see your doctor, I would suggest that you write down your list of questions and, if need be, you may refer to them when you speak with him/her. Sometimes, being with the doctor can cause ‘loss of memory’, and it is often when you leave the doctor’s office that you remember those questions that you omitted to ask.

Hope this helps
matador 89  (+ info)

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