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Where did your cancer spread to?

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  • Where did your cancer spread to?

    My brother was diagnosed early this year with TC.
    He had an i/o and then RPLND.
    After a few months on surveilence it was found that it spread to his lungs.
    His doctor says it's totally curable, and after 3 rounds of chemo he'll be cured, but I'm nervous.
    I scanned some of the posts here and didn't see many people saying theirs had spread to the lungs.
    Guess I would feel better knowing that someone else had a similar situation.

  • #2

    Sorry to hear that the RPLND did not cure your brother.

    Unfortunately embryonal carcinoma and choriocarcinoma, which are types of TC germ cell tumours, can spread via the bloodstream as well as the lymphatic system. My guess is that your brother had a good chunk of embryonal carcinoma in his original pathology.

    Unfortunately a RPLND can only stage the cancer if it has spread lymphatically, ie. to the lymph nodes in the abdomen. It sounds as if your brother TC has spread through the bloodstream and directly to the lungs. You are not alone in this respect, and it is very common for TC to spread to the lungs. Rusty009 has just recently posted the same findings, having also had a RPLND. I've attached the link.

    Coping with radiation, chemotherapy, RPLND, or surveillance: treatment issues, test results, surveillance reports. Talk about what's going on with you!

    The good news is that the disease is highly curable and your brother will be fine. The cure rate for metastic TC does not distinguish between spread to the lungs or abdomen. It is based on tumour markers. Given your brother will have been on surveillance, he will have likely caught the recurrance very early. This will put hime in "good risk" category.

    The international cure rate for good risk disease is 92%, but this covers everything from minimal spread to abdominal lymph node through to widespread lung disease (as long as the markers are not above 1000 mg/ml for AFP, and 5000 mIU/ml for bHCG).

    If the recurrence has been caught very early, my guess is that the cure rate would be in the mid to high 90s.

    Diagnosed March 2006, Stage IIB, 3cm RP mass
    10% Seminoma, 90% Non-Seminoma (Embryonal, and a tiny amount of choriocarcinoma and teratoma)
    Prechemo bHCG-2648, AFP-582
    3xBEP March-June, markers normalised
    3 months postchemo - 1.2cm residual RP mass
    RPLND September 2006 - mostly necrotic tissue plus tiny amount of well differentiated teratoma
    June 2009 - TRT commenced to help out my lefty
    May 2011 - check-up, all clear


    • #3
      The lungs are part of the normal path for testicular cancer to travel. It does not change the outlook for your brother. The chemo will be tough but not as tough as most think and your brother will be cured.
      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.


      • #4
        Hi candace,

        One thing that is worth mentioning, for you but also for any new people that might be reading this: Even when testicular cancer spreads (to the lungs, for example) it does NOT become lung cancer. Even though it now exists in his lungs, it is still testicular cancer, and therefore is every bit as curable as testicular cancer in the lymph nodes or in the testicle itself. I never knew this before my own experience with testicular cancer and it did lower my fears about recurrence a bit.

        Of course it's normal to be nervous, but as Davie & dadmo said, your brother will be fine. It's completely understandable that there is an emotional hit when cancer recurs like this, but everything will be ok. Be sure to keep us posted!!
        Right I/O 8/1/06
        Stage I Seminoma -pT2 (Size 4.2 x 3 x 3 cm) w/vascular invasion
        Adjuvant Therapy: RT 9/18/06 - 10/5/06
        All Clear #1: 5/15/07
        New CD available on CD Baby and iTunes! (Visit for more info)


        • #5

          Look at my case....
          Stage III EC 85% + Sem 15%
          AFP=2.6; HCG=10, 20,28 and rising
          FULL CAT scan:
          -abdominal lymph clear
          -subpleural lungs metastasis [bipulmonary lesions with diam <= 1cm]
          4 x BEP changed to 3 x BEP at my request
          from 2005-05....Surveillance


          • #6
            My husband's cancer skipped the abdominal nodes and went to the lungs


            • #7
              I had embroyonal carcinoma and it spread to the lungs, but chemo wiped it out. Your brother will be fine. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.
              Left I/O 5/9/05, 100% Embryonal Call Carcinoma, Stage IIIa, Laparoscopic RPLND 7/19/05, 4X EP 9/05-11/05


              • #8
                I have (or had) lung mets. Brain MRI 3 days ago.

                I felt much better after the 4xBEP, my lungs feel completly normal.. although sometimes I will feel that weird pain again. Kust waiting for the PET now to know if it's all history.
                Right IO, March 2006
                Stage III Nonseminoma - Choriocarcinoma. Multiple lung mets.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AdrianB1971
                  Look at my case....
                  Did the 3xBEP cure you?
                  Right IO, March 2006
                  Stage III Nonseminoma - Choriocarcinoma. Multiple lung mets.


                  • #10
                    Alucard good to see you post again hadn't seen you post anything in the past few months and I was wondering how your treatment has been coming? I lurk more than i post in case you're wondering who the heck i am.
                    dx May 3, 2006, left I/O May 5, seminoma stage I, RTx16 (24Gy) completed June 26, 2006, all clear.