Testicular Cancer Survivors at Risk of Late Effects of Chemotherapy

Katie Kosko

TREATMENT-RELATED SIDE EFFECTS — even after many years — can be a concern for men who receieved platinum-based chemotherapy for testicular cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology involved 1,214 survivors who were age 55 or younger at diagnosis and had been finished with first-line chemotherapy for at least a year. The participants completed a comprehensive questionnaire and underwent a physical examination, which revealed the most common negative health outcomes following treatment: obesity, sensory neuropathy, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing damage. About 5 percent of patients experienced no negative health effects.

The researchers also found that late effects can occur in clusters — for instance, hearing loss or damage and tinnitus; hypertension and diabetes; cardiovascular and related conditions; thyroid disease and erectile dysfunction; and depression or anxiety and diminished functional activity of the gonads.

“Since effective cisplatin-based chemotherapy was introduced in the 1970s, the overall age-adjusted five-year relative survival rate is 95 percent, and survivors remain at risk for decades for the late effects of cancer and its treatment,” the study authors wrote.
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