What to Know About Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer

What to Know About Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. Cancer cells divide quickly and chemotherapy drugs target and kill these quickly growing cells. Chemotherapy is referred to as a systemic treatment because the drugs travel through the body in your bloodstream, destroying cancer cells wherever they are in your body.

How you take chemotherapy drugs for testicular cancer

Photo of intravenous drug bagChemotherapy drugs may be given by mouth or injection, or both. For testicular cancer, it is most commonly given as an injection in the vein. Doctors give chemotherapy in cycles. This means you will switch off between getting chemotherapy and having a rest period. Each treatment and rest period make up one cycle. Most treatments include two to four such cycles. Your doctor will explain what your treatment plan will be and what you can expect. Commonly, chemotherapy is given at an outpatient part of the hospital or at your doctor’s office.

Common chemotherapy drugs for testicular cancer

These are the most common chemotherapy drugs for treating testicular cancer:

  • Platinol (cisplatin)

  • Blenoxane (bleomycin)

  • VePesid, Etopophos, VP-16 (etoposide)

  • Velban (vinblastine)

  • Ifex (ifosfamide)

  • Taxol (paclitaxel)

  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)

Treatment after chemotherapy

If you are not cured with regular doses, your doctor may treat you with high-dose chemotherapy. Because higher doses can destroy your bone marrow (where new blood cells are made), this is followed by a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to help restore your blood stem cells. If your own cells are used, it is called an autologous transplant. If someone else’s cells are used, it is called an allogeneic transplant.


The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.