What to Expect
Don't rush into a decision about treatment. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can safely take one to three months to do research, get a second opinion, and carefully consider your options.
Ask someone you trust to go with you to doctors' appointments and tests. This person can provide emotional support, and also help by taking notes, keeping track of questions you want to ask, and doing research on your disease and your treatment options.
All testicular cancers are not the same. The treatment a friend or relative received may not be the best treatment for you.
Treatment for testicular cancer depends on the type of cancer and the stage. Your doctor will first take a complete medical history and do a physical exam to feel your testicles for lumps or swelling and your abdomen for enlarged lymph nodes. Next, a series of tests will be performed to determine whether or not you have testicular cancer. These tests may include the following:
- Blood tests
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- PET scan
Where Will I Be Seen?
There are two clinics within the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and its parent organizations where you may be seen, depending on how advanced your cancer is and the doctor or doctors you have chosen to care for you. These are the main SCCA clinic on south Lake Union, and the SCCA Prostate Center at UW Medical Center.
- If you have been referred to SCCA with a diagnosis of localized testicular cancer, you will be seen at the SCCA Prostate Center on the first floor of the Surgery Pavilion at UW Medical Center. During your first appointment you will be evaluated by a urologist, who is a trained surgeon, and other testicular cancer specialists, as necessary.
- If you have been referred to SCCA with a diagnosis of advanced testicular cancer, you will probably be seen at the SCCA clinic on South Lake Union.
- You may also self-refer by calling the SCCA Prostate Center appointment desk at (206) 598-6088, or by calling the main SCCA clinic Patient Intake office at (206) 288-SCCA (7222).
Your First Visit
Every testicular cancer patient at SCCA has a personal team that includes a urologist who is also a trained surgeon, a registered nurse practitioner, and often a radiation oncologist or medical oncologist, if needed.
Before your first visit, your doctor will have reviewed your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) and any scans or tests you have already had.
On your first visit to the SCCA Prostate Center or to the clinic at the main SCCA building, you will first meet with your nurse practitioner, who will ask you questions about your medical history and your current problem. This will be followed by a complete physical exam by your doctor. Then you and your doctor will discuss any further tests you may need, such as a biopsy, and discuss treatment options.
This visit usually lasts one and a half to two hours. You may bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment.
Surgery for SCCA patients is performed at University of Washington Medical Center, part of UW Medicine, an SCCA parent organization. Radiation therapy is also done at UW Medical Center and also at the SCCA clinic on south Lake Union. Outpatient chemotherapy can be done either at UW Medical Center or at the SCCA clinic, depending on your preference and who your treating physician is. Some members of our team are based at the Prostate Center at UW Medical Center, some at the SCCA clinic, and some go between the two facilities.
SCCA Prostate Center
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Prostate Center is a state-of-the-art facility located within the Surgery Pavilion at University of Washington Medical Center, on the first floor. There is convenient parking located in the garage beneath the building. We see patients with all different types of genitourinary cancers, including testicular cancer.
The SCCA Prostate Center offers:
- One-stop patient registration (which means you only have to check in once for all the tests, procedures, and appointments you may have scheduled for that day)
- Appointments that start on time
- Pre-appointment phone consultations when necessary
- Better integration of care among specialists and between the clinics and the surgical treatment area.
At the SCCA Prostate Center, you will find spacious, light-filled waiting rooms with comfortable overstuffed chairs and ottomans, as well as computer desks with electrical and phone connections to plug in your laptop, if you choose.
The examination and treatment rooms are spacious and equipped with the latest in medical technology. Biopsies and blood draws can be done right in the clinic, and patients who are scheduled for day surgery move easily between the clinic and the day-surgery suite on the second floor.
For your convenience, the Surgery Pavilion has an espresso stand and Tea Room. In addition to underground parking, the shuttle that takes patients to the main SCCA clinic on south Lake Union stops right in front of the Surgery Pavilion.