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  • Left Orchiectomy - one day later

    I had a left orchiectomy yesterday. I had a 3cm mass in my left testicle, and do not know how long I had it. I'm 25.

    I will not know my blood test results or have a CAT scan until next wednesday afternoon... I know the mass was a little larger than "small" (which my urologist defined as 1cm), is there anything I can do or read for the next week that will help allay my fears of widespread cancer?

    How often is it that a TC patient needs to have a lymph node dissection? Which is a better diagnosis - radiation or chemo?

    I just started reading the Lance Armstrong book, but haven't found much to read medically other than high level overviews...

    I'm pretty scared, trying to be optimistic, and trying to laugh about as much as I can.. (lots of uni-baller jokes) but I just want to jump ahead a week and know how far along the cancer is....
    Diagnosed 3/6/07, Left orchiectomy, 100% Embryonal Carcinoma with lymph nodes detected via CT. 3x BEP started 3/26/07 at UPenn (Vaughn), "all clear" on 5/28/07. Surveillance since.
    Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.

  • #2
    Hi, Joe, and welcome to the forums. Sorry about the entry fee for our club. Radiation therapy will only apply if you had pure seminoma, which you won't know until you have your pathology report and blood test results. RPLND is generally only performed for stage I or II non-seminoma or after chemotherapy to remove residual masses. If there's no sign of spread, surveillance can be a good choice.

    Be sure to read up at the Testicular Cancer Resource Center. Hang in there, you'll come through better than ever.
    Scott, [email protected]
    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


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    • #3
      Hi Joe, I am about 6 weeks ahead of you. I am 30 and Jan 16th went to urologist for exam and he scheduled surg for Jan 18th. He did same Orchiectomy. I will find out next week if/when RPLND is recommended for me.

      I do not know if it is recommended by others here, but I usually get my test results before the Dr's. The hospital/lab/imaging dept will give me results the next day if I sign a release form. It helps me know whats going on a little better, and have questions prepped for the Dr's.


      good luck and take it easy.

      jj

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      • #4
        Originally posted by campjo04
        Hi Joe, I am about 6 weeks ahead of you. I am 30 and Jan 16th went to urologist for exam and he scheduled surg for Jan 18th. He did same Orchiectomy. I will find out next week if/when RPLND is recommended for me.

        I do not know if it is recommended by others here, but I usually get my test results before the Dr's. The hospital/lab/imaging dept will give me results the next day if I sign a release form. It helps me know whats going on a little better, and have questions prepped for the Dr's.


        good luck and take it easy.

        jj

        The TCRC sites are incredible.
        Has anyone read anything about how to determine without path results if tumor was nonseminal or seminal?
        If I called the lab tomorrow for the results early, would I be able to tell from them?


        I know the RPLND is generally recommended for nonseminal cancers, obviously I would prefer to just have external treatment like radiation... nonseminal diagnosis sounds like the worst of the two mainstream types... is this true or am I just being paranoid and new at this?

        Thanks for your help everyone. Not knowing is pretty difficult. I have a lot of reading to do.
        Diagnosed 3/6/07, Left orchiectomy, 100% Embryonal Carcinoma with lymph nodes detected via CT. 3x BEP started 3/26/07 at UPenn (Vaughn), "all clear" on 5/28/07. Surveillance since.
        Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JoePSU
          Has anyone read anything about how to determine without path results if tumor was nonseminal or seminal?
          If I called the lab tomorrow for the results early, would I be able to tell from them?
          Hey Joe,
          The only other possible indicators of primary tumor cell type are the blood markers (beta-HCG, AFP, and LDH). Unfortunately, tumor markers won't give you the whole story because there are certain cell types that do not produce markers (high AFP, though, usually indicates the presence of non-seminomatous elements). The conclusive evidence will come from the pathology report. The path lab at the hospital will make microscope slides from the orchiectomy specimen and look at the cells under the scope. A well-trained pathologist will be able to identify the approximate composition of the tumor mass(es).
          I know the waiting sucks. I went through this ordeal a few months ago, and it will certainly be unpleasant. In the meantime, concentrate on your recovery from the I/O. Feel free to ask plenty. We may not be M.D.s, but we can certainly help point you in the right direction. Take it easy,
          Last edited by Fed; 03-09-07, 02:12 PM.
          "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
          11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
          12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

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          • #6
            Joe, as Fed said, you need the pathology report, though a high AFP result would strongly indicate non-seminoma.

            As for treatment, the most important thing is to do what will cure you!
            Scott, [email protected]
            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


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            • #7
              All treatments are worthwhile

              I was Stage 2 and got 4xBEP chemo and a post chemo RPLND.

              Not a single fun day in the bunch, but every day was worth it.

              Hope for you that you can go right to surveillance, but I'm a Big 'Ol Wimp and if I can get through the treatments, you can too. No matter what!
              Stage III Non-Seminoma- 7/11/06
              Right I/O 7/12/06
              Completed 4x BEP 11/06
              Bi-Lateral RPLND (Dr. Shenifeld)- 11/27/06
              Surveillance since then

              When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.
              Lance Armstrong.

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              • #8
                Hi Joe,

                Welcome, even though I know you are going through a lot. I guess what I can say to comfort you is that even if you need treatment, TC has a very high cure rate. At the cancer center where my husband got his treatment, they had never had a person with TC NOT get 100% cured. In fact, they never had anyone return for more chemo because the cancer came back. My husband was stage IIC and it had spread to his lymph nodes. He did 4 rounds of BEP chemo and then had the RPLND. He is doing so great...seeing him at a football game with a beer in his hand, laughing with his friends, you would never even know he had cancer!

                The best thing someone did for him was a man that had the same cancer called him. He told my husband what to expect and answered his questions and when he got off the phone, my hubby felt like the world had lifted off his shoulders. I am certain my husband would love to offer that same gift to someone else. Please let me know if you would like to talk to someone, I will give you my husband's number.

                You sound like you are in good hands....you are well on your way to being better!

                Margaret
                Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
                Current DVT
                Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

                "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

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                • #9
                  Joe:
                  Believe it or not you're now experiencing one of the worst parts of this whole ordeal, waiting, waiting, waiting. My guess because of your age is that you have non-seminoma but only the blood work and path report can give the real answer.
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dadmo
                    Joe:
                    Believe it or not you're now experiencing one of the worst parts of this whole ordeal, waiting, waiting, waiting. My guess because of your age is that you have non-seminoma but only the blood work and path report can give the real answer.
                    Thanks.. I feel like I'm in limbo right now... I'm supposed to get married in June, and I'm just thinking of how much this damn cancer is ****ing up my plans... Making me pretty angry, but in general I'm trying not to think of any of it.

                    I haven't been able to defecate for over 24 hours, which is very unusual for me. Despite the fiber and stool softeners, the tylenol with codeine has brought my digestive system to a screetching halt.

                    I limp into the bathroom to urinate, and I'm virtually afraid to look at my scrotum. Right now it is still swollen, but the incision looks pretty good, although I'm starting to get a fever of about 100deg F. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for infection I guess.

                    What will my scrotum look like when the swelling goes down? One ball in the middle? or will the empty side still fill in with other material or fluid?

                    I'm just waiting, and thinking, an researching. Funny thing is, I'm not that upset, I feel like I should be, but I'm just sort of.... waiting. Like I don't want to commit to a drag 'em out fight with the cancer til I know exactly what it looks like and what its name is. I don't want to use the energy yet...
                    Diagnosed 3/6/07, Left orchiectomy, 100% Embryonal Carcinoma with lymph nodes detected via CT. 3x BEP started 3/26/07 at UPenn (Vaughn), "all clear" on 5/28/07. Surveillance since.
                    Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No need to hold back on the wedding planning at this point. June is likely to work out just fine.

                      The remaining testicle will probably hang a little closer to center than before, but not all the way in the middle; nothing will fill in the empty side. After a while, you'll rarely notice the difference.

                      Hang in there, Joe.
                      Scott, [email protected]
                      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!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Joe, Welcome to the forums. I want to give you some advice for the short run- your scrotum and penis will get major leage bruised real soon, ice will help the first 24 hours, after that only meds. My incision "raised" after a few days, felt like kind of the diameter of a pencil- I thought for sure I had a damn hernia. Not the case, but try not to lift anything heavy in the next few weeks.
                        I never did get an implant, and I'm glad I didn't.
                        My cousin has one and it bothers him some.

                        I know you're stressed over your pathology, let us know what it is and we will help you through it.
                        Joe
                        Stage III. Embryonal Carcinoma, Mature Teratoma, Choriocarcinoma.
                        Diagnosed 4/19/06, Right I/O 4/21/06, RPLND 6/21/06, 4xEP, All Clear 1/29/07, RPLND Incisional Hernia Surgery 11/24/08, Hydrocelectomy and Vasectomy 11/23/09.

                        Please see a physician for medical advice!

                        My 2013 LiveSTRONG Site
                        The 2013 Already Balders

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                        • #13
                          Hey again Joe,

                          I totally understand your frustration. The worst part while I was recovering from the I/O was feeling pretty much useless around the house. I have an almost-two-year-old hyperactive child, so my wife had to take care of every single chore at home that entailed any kind of heavy lifting. This was on top of feeling achy and struggling to go to the bathroom. As far as the post-op recovery is concerned, it all sounds normal (after all, the I/O is still a surgery). I was swollen for a couple of weeks, and all I could wear comfortably were sweatpants. The incision got itchy, especially during hair regrowth, and it swelled up after my kid accidentally kicked it. There were ups and downs, but everything eventually gets better (and I'm certain things will go well on your end).

                          There's no need to put your life on hold. You will most certainly be fully recovered from the I/O by June. Today I'm three months post I/O, and I can say that I'm pretty much back at 100%. June is about 3 months away, so I concur with Scott here: stick to your plans.

                          Take it easy,
                          "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
                          11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
                          12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

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                          • #14
                            Welcome, Joe! Congrats on the upcoming wedding!! Ain't no doubt about it...waiting sucks. Warm prune juice, lots of fluids, and try to lay off the codeine as soon as you can. Post the path report, if you don't mind, and I'm betting someone here will have the same composition and staging to help you through. The tctc site is great, and there are a number of reviews and links posted on the research library of this site as well.
                            Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

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                            • #15
                              I hope that PSU does not mean:

                              Penn State University

                              jrb
                              Ch E 97'
                              MBA 05'

                              sorry about you joining us, let me know if you need anything. my parents live in Downingtown and West Chester.
                              Age 33, Right I/O Mar '05, 90% embryonal, 10% teratocarcinoma, Surv until 4 mo CT (+), 3 x BEP Aug/Sep '05, CT 10/05 ok, CT 2/06 ok, CT 3/06 ok, CT 6/06 ok, X-Ray, Blood 8/06 ok, Sperm Count 09/06: Low but active, CT 10/06 ok, X-ray 12/06 ok, CT 02/07 ok, X-ray/blood 4/07 ok, CT 6/07 ok, X-ray/blood 09/07, CT 10/07 ok, CT 4/08 ok, CT 10/08 ok

                              LAST NIGHT I DREAMT 1000 LIES
                              I CAN SEE THE DAWN
                              THROUGH A DIFFERENT SET OF EYES

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