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Testosterone levels: low? high?

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi. I only recently found this web site and group. I'm Jim, age 40. I was diagnosed with embryonal cell carcinoma of the right testis in 1996; orchidectomy, lymphanodectomy, and chmotherapy followed.

The chemo pretty much wiped out the Leydig cells of the remaining testis, so they decided on testosterone replacement therapy. The patches didn't do the trick, so my wife gives me 1 ml Delatestryl every two weeks. They started me at once per two weeks with the intent of spacing them out farther once they knew what level it put me at, but at the end of two weeks my levels were barely normal, so they kept me there.

I have a number of symptoms of low testosterone: pot belly, fatigue, depression (although I've had depression all my life), baldness (my family isn't known for losing their hair, even at advanced age). Recently, though, my GP at my health plan tested me and said my testosterone levels were through the roof -- over 1300.

Now, this seems unbelievable to me. I have no symptoms of excess testosterone. Further, she didn't say whether it was free or bound testosterone, and hadn't asked me how long ago my last injection was. As it happens, I was nearly at the end of my two-week cycle. I have a hard time believing that my levels were that high that late in the cycle. However, the GP sticks by the test, refuses to retest, and refuses to refer me to an endocrinologist, although she will refer me to a urologist (because "that's the standard referral for testicular cancer"). (This health plan is notorious for "going by the book".)

What I want to know is, am I off-base? Have I missed something, or is my logic flawed; or does this just not make sense?

Thanks for any advice.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2003

Hey, I'm Brian, 33. I was diagnosed with the same cancer as you and I finished up with 4 cycles of BEP chemo about a year ago. I'm sorry I can't give you any advice because I really don't know much about it but I think I'm about to find out.
I was just wondering did the testosterone treatments help at all?, I just had mine checked because I was feeling pretty bad and fatiged easily and it was low. I'm going to see my oncologist next monday because the military don't know where else to send me for this type of problem.

Good luck to you and any advice would be appreciated

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey, how about that. I had four cycles (12 weeks) of BEP too. Must be the standard treatment. (Actually I only had 11 weeks -- lung function tests showed diminshed capacity from the bleomycin, so they stopped early.)

To answer your question, yes, the testosterone helped. I suspect my levels were always low, so it hasn't helped as much as it would others (I still have a bit of a pot belly and a receding hairline). But it definitely affects my mood. I get "shot" on alternate Mondays, and the Thursday or Friday before I'll find myself becoming (more) irritable, pessimistic, depressed. It's usually a mystery to me, or I chalk it up to a bad day, until I remember what day it is. It also helped my fatigue.

The endocrinologist who put me on testosterone (on a previous health plan) said most of his patients who are on supplements can tell when they start to lose effect, in the same way.

I don't know anything about the military's health plan, so I'll refrain from giving obvious advice about referrals and such.

The good news is (in case your doctors didn't tell you) is that testicular cancer is extremely treatable with little incidence of recurrence if caught in time (or so I'm told).

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

Hey guys. Recently i underwent chemo for NHL. at 43 years old, other than cancer (ha ha) i was in perfect health. i was always extremely high strung and full of energy...my whole life, until AFTER chemo. about 6 months after chemo, i was still always tired, no drive, and was still dealing with depression. prior to chemo, i had tons of tests done at the recommendation of several people, and after reading tons of info on the internet. testosterone level was one of those. 6 months after chemo, my testosterone level was at 248 ng. normal by their standards, but extremely low from MY normal!! my doctor started me on Testim. NIGHT AND FREAKING DAY difference in three days!!! i am 100% back to MY normal. im sleeping normally again, can now find my way back to the gym, and housework gets done. my depression is GONE!!!! dont give up, and read..read...read any information yopu can. good luck!!

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