Second opinion in testicular cancer important for therapy

Second opinion in testicular cancer important for therapy / Health News

For the treatment of testicular cancer, the opinion of a doctor may increase the success of the treatment
Be sure to switch on a second opinion center of the university hospitals in the treatment of testicular cancer

For the medical treatment of testicular cancer, a second opinion of a doctor can increase the success of treatment. In a recent study, physicians and scientists from the Berlin Charité Clinic came to the conclusion that second opinion in testicular cancer is absolutely recommendable in so-called second opinion centers at university hospitals. The second opinion centers mostly recommended treatments that are better adapted to the condition and needs of cancer patients. A therapy recommendation can significantly improve the treatment prospects, the researchers say.

Testicular cancer is a relatively rare cancer. Every year, around 4,700 men fall ill in Germany. Around 200 men died each year from the disease. Especially young men are affected by testicular cancer. About 90 percent of malignant tumors are produced in the germ cells and are so-called germinal tumors. Mostly the testicle is removed, in which a tumor was found. After the operative treatment follows a radiation or chemotherapy. As an alternative to the methods, a "wait-and-see strategy" or "watchful waiting" can be chosen at an early stage.

"So far, the quality of cancer therapy has been determined primarily by the number of survivors, but it was important to us to analyze the path from diagnosis to therapy," said Mark Schrader, Charité University Hospital, opposite the news magazine Focus. Schrader leads the study of testicular cancer diagnoses and therapy suggestions from second opinion centers. Urologists who participated in the study had committed to submit each testicular cancer case to a second opinion center. The second opinion centers then gave therapy recommendations. About one in three patients received a different recommendation for cancer treatment as a result of the second opinion. In 70 percent of these cases, the resident urologists took over the treatment recommendation of the second opinion center. In about half of the cases presented, the treatment was less intense and distressing for the patient. As a result, the life situation of many patients has been improved, the study sums up. In a quarter of the patients, however, the therapy was also intensified. Thus, nevertheless better therapeutic success could be achieved.

What is frightening, however, is that the study reveals that only two-thirds of urologists are guided by the current guidelines of the European Society of Urology. (sb, 25.01.2010)