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Just finished IO... freaking out about chemo/rad =(

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  • Just finished IO... freaking out about chemo/rad =(

    Hi, I'm new to the forum. I just recently had my IO performed on my left testicle, I just reached my 2nd week of recovery from the surgery.

    So far the surgery hasn't been as bad as I expected, the recovery time seems pretty fast and the pain was a lot less than I had feared, but now it seems I'm to the worst part...

    My doctor just told my my cancer is in Stage II. Seminoma, I'm not sure about all the details because I'm having trouble getting the full pathology report at the moment. From what he said the cancer has spread to one of my lymph nodes... encouraging that he said just one lymph node, but still dissapointing that it has spread at all.

    My chest X ray came up clean, my tumor markers are normal, he says these are good signs. My CT scan did not come up clean however, and I'm still trying to find out how big the lymph node has become..

    Kaiser is calling me and scheduling chemo/radiation consutations this week...

    Am I really going to need both!?

    How bad is it really? Is the chemo a little more tolerable than it was in the past? Kaiser says on their website they use Cisplatin for chemo... is that a newer treatment, different than standard BEP? Please tell me the side effects are less powerful nowadays.....

    At least he says I won't need an RPLND, thank God.

  • #2
    Hi Shomino:

    I know it's very stressful right after your diagnosis, but you're doing the right thing by getting as much information as possible. If your tumor was a pure seminoma and that lymph node is less that 5cm in diameter, then I'll bet you'll only need radiation. Seminoma is very sensitive to radiation and that should be all you need, especially with everything else looking clean.

    Radiation therapy has become much more focused over the years and there are improved drugs for managing the side effects. You should do fine.

    As for chemo, you probably won't need it. BEP is still the regimen of choice for TC. B=bleomycin, E=etoposide, P=cisplatin (P is for the trade name, which I think is Platinol)

    Best wishes, keep asking questions here and let us know how things are going.
    Right I/O 4/22/1988
    RPLND 6/20/1988
    Left I/O 9/17/2003

    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


    • #3
      Thank you very much for the reply, I'm so glad that this forum exists so I can talk to people who have gone through these experiences.

      The reason I'm expecting chemo is because my urologist referred me to BOTH the radiation and chemotherapy doctors for Kaiser...


      • #4
        Hello and welcome
        Seminoma is usually treated with the R/T and Non seminoma or mixed is treated with chemo. Here is a good link to start with
        Good news that it is very treatable so try to relax (I know easy to say)
        some question to ask the doctor
        This will help you out a lot if you have a specific questions feel free to ask away not too much that hasn't been seen before so this is a great place to get information.
        Good luck
        5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07


        • #5

          I had the same confusion when I was going through it.

          You will be consulting with two oncologists, a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. Your situation is a little different as you are in stage 2 while I was in Stabe 1b, but I expect your consultation swill be similar. If so, your radiation oncologist will consult with you about the radiation therapy he would recommend, and the medical oncologist will present all of the options - which will include the unlikely event that you have the RT and then later get a reoccurence that must be treated with chemo. After you finish your RT, your doctor going forward for lifetime follow-up visits will be the medical oncologist.

          It sounds like RT will be the likely treatment. It is an inconvenience and some folks experience fatigue and some mild nausea, but you will get through it all and it will be behind you before you know it. I agree with the others, information is your best friend as you go forward into this.
          Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
          RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
          All clear as of 5/8/09


          • #6
            Welcome, Shomino.

            You will need radiation therapy or chemotherapy, but not both. Do you know how large the lymph node is? If it's less than 5 cm, radiation therapy is likely; otherwise, chemotherapy (3xBEP or 4xEP) will be required.
            right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since

            Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!


            • #7
              I know having an enlarged lymph nodes has you worried but it's not as bad as it seems. The lymph nodes are the area most often affected when tc spreads so if it's any comfort your cancer is acting as perdicted and should react well to standard treatment.
              Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

              Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.


              • #8
                Welcome Shomino!!!!
                I'm still trying to figure out why he sent you to 2 different doctors... As stated above the standard treatment for your case would normally be radiation.... I hope you can get some answers soon.... Best of luck with your upcoming treatments... Just remember ist is a means to an end and yews it is not going to be the best time of your life but you will get throught it and YOU WILL BE JUST FINE!!!!!!!!! DON
                Moffitt Cancer Institute
                CANCER SUCKS
                Diagnosed/Left I/O 9/18/2004--Non-Seminoma/Stage IIIC--3X B.E.P chemo--3X T.I.P. Salvage chemo---Abdominal Tumor@ 34cmX 24.5cmX 17.5cm---4/19/2005 --RPLND/Left Kidney,8 1/2lb Abdominal tumor,42 nodes removed---7/16/2005 Remission/Surveillance---Severe Peripheral Neuropathy--


                • #9
                  welcome! sounds like good info your getting. ask questions and deligant in getting answers, knowledge will help you through this! my thoughts and prayers are with you.

                  diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008


                  • #10
                    Thank you guys so much for all the replies and support. I am starting to understand my situation more now, especially after I have gotten the details of my test results from a Kaiser nurse.

                    I think I was overreacting to the chemo situation, from what I've been reading online I don't think I'm going to need it! It just scared me that they referred me to a seperate radiation oncologist, I was thinking that would mean that they are going to use both treatments on me, I will find out for sure this Thursday.

                    The information I just got was that 2 of my lymph nodes are mildly enlarged, 11mm. No vascular invasion or invasion of any type, normal tumor markers, everything else clean.

                    From what I've gleaned from the TCRC site and the results, I believe my staging is as follows:

                    Stage II(B?)
                    pT1, N2 (Now this is what I'm confused about, my lymph node status. Because I have "midly enlarged" lymph nodes, does this count as "Metastasis in multiple lymph nodes, none more that 5cm in dimension"?) M0, S0


                    • #11

                      Hi mate, I am new to the forum today also. As you can see from my details below I have had both R/T and Chemo. I know it is easy to say but don't worry. It is not easy but things have moved on in the past few years and the anti-sickness drugs normally work well. I finished Chemo in Jan and am very much back to normal with only a few side effects (feet a little numb). Once you know what they will treat you with then we can give you as much info as we can based on our experience, but remember everyone is different. Good luck and don't worry.
                      St 1 Seminoma R I/O Mar 04 Radiotherapy
                      Markers up Oct 05 - Nov 05 - Jan 06 4 x EP
                      Back in remission and doing fine