Testicular Cancer

Support and counselling

Some men with testicular cancer not only have to cope with physical problems associated with treatment, but also with psychological distress and lack of confidence due to worries about health, fertility and body image. They may also have problems with relationships and concerns about work and financial matters, and thus need support.

Macmillan Cancer Support provides information on all aspects of cancer and its treatment, and on the practical and emotional problems of living with testicular cancer (see Macmillan Cancer Support). Other organisations, such as Cancerlink and Cancerhelp UK, can also help (see 'Resources' section), and many hospitals have their own emotional support services.

Counselling is not recommended for men with testicular cancer as a matter of course. Indeed, one man said that he thought it might do more harm than good. However, some people find it very helpful to talk to someone who is especially trained to listen, and two men said that they wished they had known that counsellors were available in the hospital.

One man suggested that psychosocial counselling would be helpful after medical treatment, to help those who fear that the cancer might return, and to help those who have problems with family relationships.

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In the community, GPs, district nurses, Macmillan and Marie Curie nurses, local ministers, and many others can also offer support.

Some people find support groups (for contact details see 'Resources' section) helpful too. One man, who now helps to run a testicular cancer support group, wishes that a support group had been available when he was ill. He said that even now he finds the group very therapeutic because other members of the group put things into perspective, and make him realise that he was not the only person worried about a recurrence.

One man said that members of his support group, a group for people with various forms of cancer, used to meet once a month, and give advice to each other about difficulties they had encountered. Some self-help groups also offer complementary treatments, advice on diet or exercise, and invite expert speakers to give talks.

Support groups may run a support service over the telephone. One man said that he found it really helpful to talk to someone who had been through a similar experience. However, another man, who had lost both testicles, had a bad experience when talking to someone over the telephone, because he said that the person he spoke to trivialised his experience.

Some men described the voluntary work they do, visiting men with testicular cancer in hospital, offering support, writing newspaper articles, talking on the radio or TV, and visiting offices and schools to raise awareness about the symptoms of testicular cancer. One man said that his voluntary work helped him to feel better himself.

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Although some men found support groups very helpful, others said that they didn't feel a need for counselling or for a support group, because they had received such good support from family, friends, and hospital staff.

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Last reviewed December 2014.
Last updated October 2011.

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