Cancer Crossroads...

  • lvnative

    Posts: 1

    Sep 12, 2007 3:14 AM GMT
    Everyone on here seems to know one thing or another about everything so I thought that I might throw my situation into the mix and see what you all have to say.

    Just last month I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Choriocarcinoma was the type that I was diagnosed with. I had the groin pain, the swollen, sore nipples, my body was producing so much testosterone that I went through puberty all over again and broke out all over my back and chest. It was embarassing. Finally some blood work showed that I had elevated betaHCG (tumor marker). Within a week I had my testical taken out. There was a lump on it the size of an almond. After the surgery I had all sorts of scans and blood work done. There were no signs of vascular invasion and my tumor marker has come back down to normal. Now I'm faced with the decision of getting and RPLND (lymph node dissection) done or not. My oncologist says that I can go into observation, which consists of monthly check ups and my urologist who performed the surgery told me, that if I were his son, he would want me to get the surgery done. UGH! Two experts telling me two different things. The surgery is very invasive. A scar from the bottom of my sternum to my belly button. My insides sit on my chest while they dissect the lymph nodes. There's no guarantee that they will contain any cancer they just want to be sure. Recovery is 4-6 weeks.

    Has anyone had this done or gone through this same dilema? To cut or not to cut.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2007 4:20 AM GMT
    get another opinion. Find the best cancer center in your region...you may need to go to LA...UCLA Medical Center has a fantastic cancer center...but before i went thru a procedure like that...I would get another opinion and research it thoroughly. Ive never had cancer, but being in medical sales Ive seen what doctors do and the decisions they make for a patients treatment and sometimes, they are motivated to cut for financial reasons...THEIRS!!
  • OutOfEden

    Posts: 100

    Sep 12, 2007 6:51 AM GMT
    I went through testicular cancer in 2003. After it was finally correctly diagnosed I had removal surgery within the week. However, I did not have the same type of growth as you mentioned. It is a long recovery mentally and people just don't understand. After my surgery I had radiation for 8 months but no additional surgeries. I obviously can't diagnose your condition or give medical advice over the internet, not to mention zero medical training, but I HAVE gone through the emotion of it and can offer a realistic and genuine ear if you need it. One thing I can say is that every single illness in the months to come, from bloating to blue ball to bronchitis has you wondering whether cancer metastisized into another system or organ and that the fear is the hardest recovery. Will you better peace of mind if you undergo the second surgery? What might it find and what would that mean? If it does find anything will you regret having done it, because finding nothing now doesn't mean you'll be perfectly healthy forevermore. Take your time to think about it and understand that everyone with advice means the best but only you know what will be the best.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2007 12:13 PM GMT
    I'm a cancer survivor as well (Hodgkins Disease, in remission for 15 years now), and I have had the surgery you are talking about, except it was called a Staging Laparotomy - it was to determine how far the cancer had spread. They didn't just biopsy lymph nodes, but they also removed my spleen (which was infected), and also biopsied my liver (which was not infected). The surgery wasn't really a choice for me (per se), but if I didn't have it, they wouldn't have known the cancer had spread to my spleen, so I'm glad it was done.

    Besides, I don't mind the scar down my stomach - it's kind of sexy :)

    Feel free to PM me if you have questions about my fight with cancer, or the surgery.