What is active surveillance?
After your diagnosis and orchiectomy, you may choose active surveillance as a treatment option.Surveillance is closely following a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is used to find early signs that the cancer has recurred (come back). During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule to monitor the patient, and insure the cancer has not come back.Benefits of active surveillance:The main benefits included in active surveillance is that it avoids the need for further treatment after the orchiectomy surgery (removal of cancerous testicle). With active surveillance you opt out of treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation, or additional surgery.What Tests are done in accordance with Active Surveillance?Although tests, and frequency of your tests are are determined by your doctor, below are some of the most common active surveillance exams and tests.
- Serum tumor marker test: A procedure in which a sample of blood is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs, tissues, or tumor cells in the body. Certain substances are linked to specific types of cancer when found in increased levels in the blood. These are called tumor markers The following 3 tumor markers are used in staging testicular cancer: Alpha – fetoprotein (AFP), Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), and Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
- Chest x-ray: An x-rayof the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- CT scan(CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.