To synthesise literature in order to elucidate the experiences of men who have survived testicular cancer and determine their quality of life following treatment.
An integrated review sought appropriate literature by utilising a keyword search across seven databases. Retrieved studies were appraised for quality, with 2 qualitative, 12 quantitative and 2 mixed method studies deemed appropriate for this review. The data were extracted and aggregated into categories by way of a thematic analysis. The themes were personal challenges and impact on health, psychological and emotive challenges, perception of reproduction and sexual changes and outlook and support.
Men experienced physical, emotional and sexual difficulties. Some men believed they were infertile, despite evidence that fertility is not compromised in the long term. Psychological conditions can be exacerbated by cultural pressures to conceive and cultural expressions about male identity. Men who had undergone orchidectomy reported minimal impact on their mental health than the men who had chemotherapy or radiotherapy as part of their treatment modality. Sexual dysfunction caused by chemotherapy-associated side effects was detrimental to men’s quality of life. In addition, men who had a partner, who were employed, and who had children were able to adjust better after treatment than those who did not. Provision of clear and honest information post-treatment helped testicular cancer survivors return to their normal lives.
The evidence from the review suggests that the burden of disease for testicular cancer survivors is overall low. Men who had surgical intervention and were treated for testicular cancer experienced minimal impact on their mental health status than the men who had chemotherapy or radiotherapy as part of their treatment modality.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
There is a need to provide appropriate referrals to the relevant services, including psychosocial support, and the development of more adequate communication resources for men following treatment for testicular cancer.
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Alexis, O., Adeleye, A.O. & Worsley, A.J. Men’s experiences of surviving testicular cancer: an integrated literature review. J Cancer Surviv 14, 284–293 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-019-00841-2
- Testicular cancer
- Quality of life
- Integrated review