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Treatment not testicular cancer poses greatest risk to survivors' long-term health
Date:10/15/2009

than 10 per cent use their frozen samples later on.

  • Pulmonary complications can arise in men who receive the drug bleomycin before larger surgical procedures, particularly if they are aged 40 or over.

  • Radiotherapy can cause short-term nausea, vomiting and lethargy, but side-effects tend to decrease two to four weeks after therapy.

  • Cisplatin-based chemotherapy can damage the sensory nerves in 10 to 30 per cent of patients and 20 per cent of survivors complain of impaired hearing and tinnitus.

  • Most acute drug toxicity problems tend to resolve themselves, or decrease, in the first year, but long-term problems pose greater issues. Despite this, many patients are only monitored by their consultant for five to ten years, after which they may or may not be regularly seen by primary care professionals.

  • Survivors are up to 1.8 times more likely to develop a secondary cancer, particularly solid malignancies below the diaphragm. The introduction of cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and a gradual reduction in radiotherapy, does not appear to have reduced the secondary cancer risk. But it appears to reduce the risk of cancer developing in the remaining testicle.

  • Avoiding mediastinal radiotherapy has reduced the risk of chronic heart complications, but death rates are still slightly increased by infra-diaphragmatic radiotherapy. In addition, the chemotherapy drug cisplatin can cause inflammation of the endothelial cells, leading to premature thickening of the coronary arteries.

  • About 20 per cent of survivors have already suffered irreversible hypogonadism, where the testes produces little or no sex hormone, and reduced fertility before their cancer is diagnosed.

  • Removal of lymph nodes in the abdomen can lead to dry ejaculation in some patients and infra-diaphragmatic radiotherapy and chemotherapy can cause temporary reductions in fertility.

  • Surprisingly, sur
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  • Contact: Annette Whibley
    wizard.media@virgin.net
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

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