Testicular Cancer

How testicular cancer affects you

Most men became aware that something was seriously wrong, either during the ultrasound scan, or later, when the urologist identified a tumour in the testis. One man said that during the time of investigations he 'went numb', suppressed his feelings, but expected the worst.

When they heard the diagnosis several men said that they cried, either with the doctor, their families, or on their own.

However, men's reaction varied widely. One man, who only waited four days between his first consultation with the urologist, and the surgery to remove a testicle, said that at the time he didn't have any feelings because everything happened so fast it 'didn't really dawn what was going on'.

Men we spoke to had different reactions to the diagnosis depending on their age, whether or not they were in a relationship, and whether or not they had children already. One young man, for example, who was diagnosed aged 15, feared he might not be able to have children (see 'Fertility'). 

Some men we interviewed feared the worst because they didn't know that testicular cancer is highly curable, and they had known other people suffer from other forms of cancer. One man was terrified because his mother had died of cancer.

Audio onlyText only
Read below

Some men were devastated when they heard the diagnosis. For example, one young man, aged 24, who had a lump removed from his neck, almost fainted when told it was a secondary tumour, which had spread from the testicle.

Waiting for surgery could be a difficult time. During an ultrasound examination a man was told he had a cyst in the testicle. Later, his urologist told him that it could be either a blood clot or a tumour. While waiting six days for surgery to remove his testicle he tried to deny any serious implications. However, he slept badly and had nightmares.

Another man, who knew he had cancer, said that the four days between the diagnosis and the surgery were the worst days of his life, because he imagined a monster growing inside him.

Even though men we spoke to were told that the cure rate for testicular cancer was excellent, many worried that they wouldn't survive. One recalled feeling isolated and depressed. Some thought about possible death, and focused on things that they still wanted to do in life.

Finding out that the cancer had spread was also a terrible shock. When first diagnosed with testicular cancer, one young man, born with only one testicle, was mainly concerned about his sex life. However, when he learnt that the cancer had spread, he told us the news was 'really devastating'.

Although the diagnosis came as an awful shock many men were reassured by the excellent cure rate. Indeed, as men recovered and realised that they were going to survive, many suggested that cancer had had a positive effect on their lives (see 'Attitude to life').

Audio onlyText only
Read below
Last reviewed December 2017.
Last updated December 2017.


Please use the form below to tell us what you think of the site. We’d love to hear about how we’ve helped you, how we could improve or if you have found something that’s broken on the site. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible.

Please note that we are unable to accept article submissions or offer medical advice. If you are affected by any of the issues covered on this website and need to talk to someone in confidence, please contact The Samaritans or your Doctor.

Make a Donation to healthtalk.org

Find out more about how you can help us.

Send to a friend

Simply fill out this form and we'll send them an email