Best Testicular Cancer Treatment in Gurgaon India
Testes (singular: testis or testicle) are paired, oval-shaped, male-reproductive glands, which sit in the scrotum (supporting structure for the testes which hangs beneath the base of the penis) and measure about 5 cm in length and 2.5 cm in diameter.
They normally develop in the abdomen and descend into the scrotum through the inguinal canals during the seventh month of fetus development. The main function of the testes is to produce sperms and the male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone.
What are the types of Testicular Cancer?
The testes are made up of mainly 3 types of cells: spermatogenic cells (germ cells), Sertoli cells, and interstitial (or Leydig) cells. Each of these cells can develop into one or more types of cancer. Germ cell tumors are the most commonly encountered (around 90-95% of all cases) testicular cancer.
Germ cell tumors are classified into following 2 types based on the type of cells involved, growth rate, and type of treatment approach usually followed for such tumors:
Non-seminomatous germ cell tumors may be further divided into-
- Embronal Carcinoma
- Endodermal Sinus/Yolk Sac Tumors
How do I know if I am at risk for Testicular Cancer? What are the causes of Testicular Cancer?
Following are some of the risk factors for testicular cancer. If you have one or more of the following, you may be at risk.
Cryptorchidism, or failure of descent of the testis into the scrotal sac, is also a risk factor for the disease. In this condition, testis may lie either in the abdomen or in the inguinal canal, as you can see in the figure.
Race and Ethnicity
The risk of testicular cancer is around 4 to 5 times higher in white men living in the United States and Europe compared to that of black men living in Africa or Asia. The incidence of testicular cancer is highest in North-European and least in Asians and Africans. However, the reason for this difference in incidence is unknown.
Individuals with a personal history of testicular are generally at higher risk of developing second cancer in another testicle. Previous history of cancer in the opposite testis, previous testicular biopsy, testicular atrophy or impaired fertility also increase the testicular cancer risk factor.
Risk of developing testicular cancer increases in an individual with a history of testicular cancer in close relatives.
Genetic Cancer Predisposition Syndromes
Various syndromes such as Down’s syndrome. Klinefelter’s syndrome and testicular dysgenesis syndrome may also be a risk factor for the disease.
- Down’s Syndrome (caused due to defect in chromosome 21);
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (caused due to the presence of two or more X chromosomes in males);
- Testicular dysgenesis, and
- Testicular feminization syndrome.
Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer.
Abnormal development of testicles, testicular atrophy due to injury, orchitis, and exposure to radiation in past is associated with increased level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which is postulated to increase the risk of testicular cancer.
Obese and tall men are also considered to be at increased risk of developing testicular cancer.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of Testicular Cancer? How do I know if I have Testicular Cancer or not?
Symptoms may be due to local or distant spread.
Local spread may cause:
- Painless testicular swelling
- Change in how testicles feel
- Ache in the lower abdomen.
Distant spread may cause:
- Cough, breathlessness
- Bone pain
Other symptoms of testicular cancer may depend on the site of metastasis. Most common sites of spread of testicular cancer are liver, lung and bone.
What are the Tests or Investigations to be done to confirm the diagnosis of Testicular Cancer?
testicular ultrasound Ultrasound of the scrotum is generally the first test performed when testicular cancer is suspected. It helps us to differentiate whether the mass is intra-testicular or extra-testicular, that is, whether it is inside or outside the testis. Then we have to see whether it is solid or cystic. A solid, intratesticular mass goes in the favor of testicular cancer.
This helps the doctor to examine both the testes along with the nearby structures for any abnormal areas. This test can distinguish testicular cancer from non-cancerous conditions such as testicular torsion, hydrocele, varicocele, spermatocele, and epididymitis.
Blood tests for tumor markers
Testicular Cancer doctor gurgaon: Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are common tumor markers for testicular cancer. Assessment of levels of these markers is very useful in testicular cancer as the blood level of these markers convey useful information concerning diagnosis, staging, prognosis (course of a medical condition), disease progression/recurrence, and response to treatment.
In seminoma, LDH is the most commonly elevated tumor marker, and beta-HCG may be elevated in some cases.
Next comes choriocarcinoma, in which beta HCG is significantly elevated, and LDH maybe elevated in some cases. In endodermal sinus or yolk sac tumors, AFP is significantly elevated and LDH maybe elevated in some cases. And in embryonal carcinoma all the three, that is, AFP, beta HCG and LDH maybe elevated.
Beta HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
HCG is a glycoprotein consisting of 2 subunits – alpha and beta. HCG level in blood is generally measured with the help of beta-subunit. An elevated level of HCG is usually associated with embryonal carcinoma, choriocarcinoma, and seminoma. Extremely high level of HCG is generally detected in choriocarcinoma. However, an increase in the level of HCG can also be seen in other cancer types such as prostate, bladder, ureteral, renal cancer, etc.
AFP (Alpha Feto Protein)
An elevated level of AFP is usually associated with embryonal carcinoma and yolk sac tumors. Seminomas and choriocarcinoma do not increase the level of AFP. However, increased level of AFP may also be found in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.
LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase)
LDH is an enzyme which helps in energy production and normally found in almost all body tissues. An elevated level of LDH is generally associated with the tissue damage. In patients with testicular cancer, it is usually related to tumor burden, disease prognosis, and indicates the response to treatment.
Testicular Cancer surgeon gurgaon: So after doing testicular ultrasound and tumor markers, the next step is systemic imaging. This helps us to diagnose the spread of the disease to other part of the body. For systemic imaging, we require the CT scan of abdomen, pelvis and thorax. Very rarely, we may require MRI brain or bone scan to look for the spread of the disease to brain or bones.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scan
High Inguinal orchiectomy
So after doing testicular ultrasound, tumor markers and system imaging, we are very close to diagnosis, but to be 100% sure, we require a tissue histopathology. So for that, we do high inguinal orchiectomy, in which the involved testis is removed. The procedure is both diagnostic as well as therapeutic because it provides tissue for histopathological diagnosis, as well as it removes the involved testis.
The pathology report after high inguinal orchiectomy confirms the diagnosis of germ cell tumor. It also tells us whether it is a seminoma or non-seminoma or whether it is a mixed germ cell tumor, having components of both. It also tells about the sub-type of non-seminoma, that is, whether it is embryonal carcinoma, endodermal sinus or yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma or teratoma.
The tumor markers may not be elevated in all the cases, and even if they are elevated they are highly overlapping in different sub-types, so 100% diagnosis is rarely possible with just the tumor markers. Therefore, for the confirmation of the diagnosis of testicular germ cell tumor, we require both, that is histopathology and tumor markers.
Rarely, it is possible that histopathology shows seminoma, but AFP is elevated, such cases are related as non-seminoma. So, always remember that elevation of AFP strictly goes in the favor of non-seminoma even if the histopathological diagnosis is suggestive of a seminoma.
Orchiectomy is considered most important for pathological diagnosis and as a curative procedure for testicular cancer. The entire tumor along with the affected testicle and spermatic cord (containing part of the vas deferens), and associated blood and lymph vessels (that can provide passage for cancer spread) are removed during the procedure. The collected sample is then tested in a laboratory to find out the type and extent of disease.
How do I know my Stage of Testicular Cancer?
Before discussing the staging, let’s have a look at the anatomy of human testis. This will help to understand staging better.
Testis is the rounded structure, that produces sperm and testosterone. It lies in a pouch called scrotum and it is lined by epididymis. The duct joining the testis is called as vas deferens. In front of the testis lies the penis, through which urethra passes. It is connected superiorly to the urinary bladder and helps in passing the urine. If you look at the testis in detail, it is lined by an inner layer called as tunica albuginea and an outer layer, called as tunica vaginalis. At the upper part is epidydimis, which joins the vas deferens superiorly.
The covering outside the testis is called as spermatic cord. It is composed of three layers, internal and external spermatic fascia and cremasteric muscle. And the outermost pouch like covering that holds both the testis is called a scrotum.
TNM is the most commonly used system for staging testicular cancer. “T” stands for “Tumor Size”, “N” for “Lymph Nodes”, “M” for “Metastasis”, and “S” stands for “Serum level of tumor markers”.
- Tis – The cancer cells are present only in the seminiferous tubules (small tube-like structures inside the testes).
- T1 – Tumor limited to testis/epididymis and has invaded up to the tunica albuginea but has not grown into tunica vaginalis or nearby blood vessels/lymphatics.
- T2 – Tumor limited to testis/epididymis and has invaded up to the tunica vaginalis or blood vessels/lymphatics involvement by the tumor.
- T3 – Tumor has invaded the spermatic cord with or without blood vessels/lymphatics involvement.
- T4 – Tumor has invaded the scrotum with or without blood vessels/lymphatics involvement.
So after the T staging, comes the N staging or the nodal staging. The absence of regional lymph nodes is called as N0, whereas, the involvement of regional lymph nodes is called as N1, N2 or N3 depending upon the size and the number of the nodes.
These nodal structures called retroperitoneal lymph nodes are the regional lymph nodes for testicular cancer. Their size and number determine the N-stage, that is N1, N2 or N3.
- N1 – Tumor spread to single or multiple regional lymph node(s) none >2 cm in greatest dimension
- N2 – Tumor spread to single or multiple regional lymph node(s), any one >2 cm but </=5 cm in greatest dimension
- N3 – Tumor spread to lymph node mass >5 cm in greatest dimension
After the T and N staging, comes the M staging for testicular cancer.
It is called as M1a if there is spread to non-regional lymph nodes, that is, any nodes except retroperitoneal lymph nodes as discussed above, or if there is spread to lungs that are called as pulmonary metastasis. Whereas, spread to the organs of the body other than lung is called as M1b. Spread to brain or bones is also M1b.
Testicular Tumor Serum Marker Levels(S Staging)
As you can see in the above figure, the tumor markers for each subtype may be different, although there is some overlap.
Seminoma mostly presents with LDH and/or beta HCG elevation, choriocarcinoma with beta HCG and/or LDH elevation, endodermal sinus/yolk sac tumors with AFP and/or beta HCG elevation, and embyonal tumors may present with elevation of any one or more of three.
SX: Tumor marker levels are not available.
S0: Tumor marker levels are normal.
S1: At least 1 tumor marker level is above normal.
- LDH <1.5 times the upper limit of the normal (ULN) range,
- beta-hCG < 5,000 mIu/mL, and/or
- AFP < 1,000 ng/mL.
S2: At least 1 tumor marker level is substantially above normal.
- LDH is 1.5 to 10 times the ULN
- beta-hCG is 5,000 to 50,000 mIu/mL, and/or
- AFP is 1,000 to 10,000 ng/mL.
S3: At least 1 or more tumor marker level is very highly elevated.
- LDH > 10 times the ULN
- beta-hCG > 50,000 mIu/mL, and/or
- AFP > 10,000 ng/mL.
What is Stage 3 Testicular Cancer? Is it Curable?
Stage 3 includes cases of testicular cancer that has spread to non-regional lymph nodes (other than retroperitoneal lymph nodes) like mediastinal, supraclavicular, inguinal, etc. Also, it includes cases with spread to distant sites like lungs, brain, liver, bones, etc. Also, the cases with serum tumor marker levels in S2 or S3 range (discussed above) are classified as stage 3. Stage 3 testicular cancer is definitely curable, with 5 year survival rate of around 80%.
What is Stage 4 Testicular Cancer?
As you can see in the stage grouping above, there is no stage 4 in testicular cancer. Involvement of non-regional lymph nodes and/or distant metastasis is classified as Stage 3, unlike other cancers where it is stage 4.
What is the Treatment for Testicular Cancer? Where can I get the best treatment for Testicular Cancer in Gurgaon?
Testicular cancer specialist in gurgaon sec 46 The testicular cancer treatment depends on the type of testicular cancer (seminoma versus non-seminoma), stage of the disease, performance status of the patient, along with other factors.
Oncoexperts is a cancer clinic in Gurgaon for treatment for testicular cancer from our team of cancer experts that include surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists who are experts in treating all types of testicular cancer.
Treatment of Seminoma Testis
Tis N0 M0 S0 Surveillance is generally preferred approach for patients with Stage 0 seminomas. The patient should be screened frequently for any sign of disease progression. No other treatment is generally recommended.
T1-4 N0 M0 Sx
The treatment options for stage 1 seminoma are surveillance, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Surveillance is usually preferred from T1 to T3 disease. The final decision is taken by the oncologist after assessing the patient’s condition and discussing all the treatment options with the patient.
Any T N1-3 M0 Sx
For stage 2 seminoma, the treatment depends on whether it is stage 2A, 2B or 2C. For stage 2A, the treatment options are radiotherapy and chemotherapy. For stage 2B also, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the treatment options but chemotherapy is preferred over radiotherapy in most of the cases. And for stage 2C, chemotherapy is the treatment of choice.
Any T Any N M1 Sx
In case of Stage III seminoma, radical inguinal orchiectomy followed by chemotherapy is the standard treatment. Radiation therapy and/or other palliative treatment may be given for relief of symptoms.
So these were the treatment options for seminomatous germ cell tumor, but the final decision is taken by the oncologist after assessing the condition of the patient and discussing with the patient the toxicities with various treatments. In some cases of seminoma, the residual disease may be present even after chemotherapy. In such cases, surgery may be required depending upon the scan findings and if a viable tissue is found after surgery further chemotherapy is given.
Treatment of Non-Seminoma Testis
Tis N0 M0 S0
Surveillance is generally preferred approach for patients with Stage 0 non-seminomas. The patient should be screened frequently for any sign of disease progression. No other treatment is generally recommended.
T1-4 N0 M0 Sx
In case of Stage I non-seminomas, high inguinal orchiectomy followed by surveillance is preferred for T1 disease. However, for T2-T4 tumors, chemotherapy or nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) are preferred after high inguinal orchiectomy.
Any T N1-3 M0 Sx
Treatment for stage 2 non-seminoma depends on whether the markers are S0 or S1, that is whether they are normal or elevated. If the markers are elevated, then chemotherapy is the treatment of choice.
For stage 2 disease with normal markers, the treatment depends on whether it is stage 2A, 2B or 2C. For stage 2A disease, the treatment options are surgery or chemotherapy. For stage 2B disease also, the treatment options are the same, but chemotherapy is preferred over surgery. And for stage 2C disease, chemotherapy is the treatment of choice.
Any T Any N M1 Sx
In case of Stage III non-seminomas, radical inguinal orchiectomy followed by chemotherapy is the standard treatment. Radiation therapy and/or other palliative treatment may be given for relief of symptoms. Again, always remember that of all the treatment options the final decision is taken by the oncologist, after assessing the condition of the patient and discussing the various treatment option with the patient.
Role of Surgery
Mainly 2 types of surgeries are performed for testicular cancer treatment gurgaon: High inguinal orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND).
In high inguinal orchiectomy, the affected testicle, spermatic cord, and associated blood and lymph vessels (that can provide passage for cancer spread) are removed.
In RPLND, the cancer-containing lymph nodes in the abdomen (known as retroperitoneal lymph nodes surrounding the aorta and inferior vena cava) are removed. RPLND can be performed as an open surgery or as a laparoscopic procedure. Also, some patients may opt for sperm banking for fertility preservation before the surgery.
Role of Chemotherapy
Testicular cancer is one of the most chemoresponsive tumor. Indications of chemotherapy in seminoma and non-seminoma are discussed above.
Some chemotherapy drugs that are a part of testicular cancer treatment regimens are-
Where can I find the best specialists for Testicular Cancer treatment in Gurgaon?
Dr Archit Pandit is a surgical oncologist who is an expert in treating all types of genitourinary malignancies with surgery. He does high inguinal orchidectomy and all types of retroperitoneal lymph node dissections for testicular cancer patients.
Dr Sunny Garg is a renowned Medical Oncologist in Gurgaon with an experience of more than 10 years of treating testicular cancer patients. He has treated testicular cancer patients with Chemotherapy and Personalized Cancer Treatment.
Call or whatsapp +91 9686813020 for appointment.