What to Know About Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Cancer cells divide quickly. Chemotherapy drugs kill these quickly growing cells. It is called a systemic treatment because the drugs travel all through the body in your bloodstream. The drugs then kill cancer cells wherever they are in your body.
How You Take Chemotherapy Drugs for Testicular Cancer
You may get chemotherapy drugs by mouth or injection, or both. Doctors give chemotherapy in cycles. This means you will switch off between getting chemotherapy and having a rest period. Each treatment and rest period make up one cycle. Most treatments include two to four such cycles. Your doctor will explain what your treatment plan will be and what you can expect. You receive chemotherapy at an outpatient part of the hospital or at your doctor’s office.
Common Chemotherapy Drugs for Testicular Cancer
These are the most common chemotherapy drugs for treating testicular cancer.
VePesid, Etopophos, VP-16 (etoposide)
Treatment After Chemotherapy
If you are not cured with regular doses, your doctor may treat you with high-dose chemotherapy. Because higher doses can destroy your bone marrow (where new blood cells are made), this is followed by a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to help restore your blood stem cells. If your own cells are used, it is called an autologous transplant. If someone else’s cells are used, it is called an allogeneic transplant.