Because chemotherapy can’t distinguish between rapidly dividing cancer cells and healthy cells in the body that also divide rapidly, it can destroy those healthy cells along with the cancer cells and cause side effects for patients. Side effects vary from patient to patient based on factors like the type of medications used, the dosage and the length of treatment.
Possible side effects of chemotherapy for testicular cancer treatment include:
- Increased chance of infection
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Hair loss
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Certain chemo medications can cause additional side effects, as well. These might include shortness of breath, hearing loss, neuropathy (nerve damage) and kidney damage. Again, this depends on the type of medication used, and medical oncologists can take measures to prevent or reduce these side effects.
The side effects of chemotherapy are typically short-term and go away after treatment is concluded; however, sometimes they can last longer.
What type of chemo is used for testicular cancer?
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs/medications to treat cancer, and there is a variety of medications that can be used. Chemo drugs can be given orally or injected. Typically for treating testicular cancer, chemotherapy is given intravenously.
Do you have to have chemo for testicular cancer?
Chemotherapy is not typically used for cancer that is confined to the testicles, but is commonly recommended for cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. Any type of treatment is ultimately the decision of the patient. At Moffitt Cancer Center, all of our testicular cancer patients receive individualized treatment plans that are unique to them and their cancer and take their overall health and personal preferences into account.
If you would like to learn more about the chemotherapy medications used to treat testicular cancer and their potential side effects, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. New patients are welcome to visit Moffitt with or without a referral.