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Doctors say Taillon's prognosis should be favorable

Wes Venteicher
| Monday, May 8, 2017, 7:48 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers during the fifth inning against the Reds Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon delivers during the fifth inning against the Reds Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at PNC Park.

While details of Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon's testicular cancer diagnosis have not been made public, experts said the 25-year-old is likely to recover quickly thanks to treatment advances of recent decades.

Nearly all men who are diagnosed with Stage 1 or Stage 2 testicular cancer survive, and many are able to undertake strenuous activity in three to four weeks depending on the course of treatment, said Dr. Benjamin Davies, a UPMC urologist who did not treat Taillon but spoke generally about testicular cancer.

“While it's terrible to go through something like this, he should be OK,” Davies said.

Dr. John C. Lyne performed surgery on Taillon on Monday morning after the pitcher alerted the Pirates' medical staff of an abnormality over the weekend, according to a Pirates news release. Doctors are waiting on tests to recommend treatment, according to the release.

A lump on a testicle leads most men to a diagnosis. The standard treatment is to remove the testicle, an in-and-out procedure that doesn't require hospitalization, Davies said.

If the testicle is removed early enough in the cancer's course, recovery takes three to four weeks, he said. If the cancer has spread, chemotherapy or radiation would be required, which can take several months depending on the type of testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men Taillon's age, but it is still uncommon — about one in 263 men get it, at the average age of 33, according American Cancer Society statistics.

“Relatively speaking, compared to other cancers, it is a not-infrequent cancer,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the ACS.

Men died of testicular cancer 30 to 40 years ago, the doctors said, but chemotherapy drugs and radiation mean they now can survive with relatively few problems.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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