How has early testicular cancer affected your life? A study of sexual function in men attending active surveillance for stage one testicular cancer.
Brand S., Williams H., Braybrooke J.
PURPOSE: Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men, it is frequently diagnosed at key times in relationship formation. In early stage disease the vast majority of tumours will be cured by surgery alone with patients being offered active surveillance rather than adjuvant therapies. To date, research has not evaluated how surveillance alone impacts on sexual function. METHODS: The aim of this quantitative longitudinal study was to ascertain the sexual function of men with stage one disease at 3 and 12 months post diagnosis and to compare with normative data. Additional data was collected on the information men sought regarding sexual function and media they used to access this. RESULTS: This study shows that men's sexual function is altered at diagnosis and improves by 3 months. At 12 months, whilst not statistically significant, sexual function improves but not to the same level as normative data comparison. Men appear to find verbal information useful at 3 months, however men appear to be seeking written and online information at 12 months. CONCLUSION: The intricacies of sexual function together with the low number of participants may have been best met with a qualitative approach. However, the information data indicates the importance of further research into the effects of early stage testicular cancer on sexual function. Therefore, further qualitative research is recommended to explore the effects of early stage testicular cancer in relation to sexual function.