New research gives Calgary testicular cancer patients hope

Thanks to a new study involving the University of Calgary, testicular cancer patients are now being declared cancer-free years earlier.

2-year monitoring effective study suggests, survival rates in some cases near 100 per cent

Dr. Daniel Heng, left, says new research in testicular cancer is good news for patients and survivors. (CBC)

Thanks to a new study involving the University of Calgary, testicular cancer patients are now being declared cancer-free years earlier.

Christopher Lloyd was first diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 18. And then again when he was 23.

His recovery came with what felt like constant blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans.

"With the amount of radiation that I've been exposed to throughout my two cancer diagnoses, I know that long term it's going to have some health effects," Lloyd tells CBC News.

Christopher Lloyd, a testicular cancer survivor, says new guidelines will mean less exposure to X-rays and CT scans. (CBC)

Under the old guidelines, men with testicular cancer were monitored for five years after treatment.

But a new study involving University of Calgary research has found that only two years are needed before being considered cancer-free.

Dr. Daniel Heng says it's a relief for patients.

"That saves on radiation, CT scans, patient anxiety. And I think patients like the fact that they know after two years that they're probably going to be disease free for the rest of their lives," he said.

Dr. Daniel Heng of the University of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Centre says new research could be a relief to testicular cancer survivors. (CBC)

Lloyd says new guidelines — recently adopted in Alberta — will reduce stress for other patients.

"This is concrete evidence that shows that we can give people that sense of certainty and calm," Heng said.

"That really can go a long way in the mental state of a patient."

Experts say if testicular cancer is caught early and it hasn't spread, the survival rate is more than 95 per cent.

With files from Andrew Brown

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