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Two days after his world was upended with the diagnosis of cancer, Ivan Basso has undergone surgery at the Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan to remove his left testicle, an operation described as a success.
The hospital stated on Wednesday that his tumour, a seminoma, led to the decision to take out the affected part.
“The surgery, performed by Professor Francesco Montorsi, director of the Unit of Urology of San Raffaele in Milan, and his team, was successful and the patient, already in good condition, will be released from hospital tomorrow,” said the hospital in a statement.
“Based on histologic examination, which will be available in the coming days, it will determine whether or not he needs additional care.”
The Italian rider was involved in a crash on stage five of the Tour de France and injured his left testicle. The impact was slight but the pain didn’t abate in the days since, leading to him to get a scan in the Tour’s mobile medical unit on Sunday.
The results of this scan prompted doctors to arrange for a more thorough assessment in Pau on Monday and there it was confirmed that he had a small tumour.
This diagnosis was made public two hours later at the team’s rest day press conference, at which he said he would withdraw from the race.
He then travelled to Italy for treatment, being examined in the hospital on Tuesday morning.
The operation followed that and the hospital will now decide if he needs any follow up treatment such as chemotherapy.
While the news has undoubtedly been a shock to him, there is optimism about the outcome.
“The long-term prognosis of this type of testicular cancer is excellent,” said the hospital.
Testicular cancer is the most common manifestation of the disease in young males but, fortunately, it has one of the highest successful treatment rates. If the cancer is limited to the testicle, the five year survival race is 99 percent.
This drops to 96 percent if it has spread to nearby lymph notes, and sinks to approximately 74 percent if it has spread to organs or lymph nodes further away from the origin site.
There are no indications at this point in time that the latter situation is the case.
It is unclear if and when Basso will be able to return to the pro peloton. He moved to the Tinkoff-Saxo team this year and has backed Alberto Contador in numerous races, including his successful Giro d’Italia campaign.