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Feelings of loss and uneasiness or shame after removal of a testicle by orchidectomy: a population-based long-term follow-up of testicular cancer survivors.

Journal article
Authors Johanna Skoogh
Gunnar Steineck
E Cavallin-Ståhl
Ulrica Wilderäng
U K Håkansson
Boo Johansson
Ulrika Stierner
Published in International journal of andrology
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 183-192
ISSN 1365-2605
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Department of Psychology
Pages 183-192
Language en
Keywords loss; orchidectomy; prosthesis; testicular cancer; uneasiness and shame
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


Summary Few data illustrate the man's reaction to orchidectomy. We investigated long-lasting feelings of loss and uneasiness or shame about the body after removal of a testicle by orchidectomy. We identified 1173 eligible men diagnosed with non-seminomatous testicular cancer treated according to the national cancer-care programmes Swedish-Norwegian Testicular Cancer Group I-IV between 1981 and 2004. We asked the survivors about feelings of loss and uneasiness or shame after having had a testicle removed by orchidectomy. We obtained information from 960 (82%) testicular cancer survivors. We found that 32% of these men miss or previously missed their removed testicle(s) and that 26% have or previously had feelings of uneasiness or shame about their body because of the removed testicle(s). Men who had never been offered a prosthesis reported feelings of loss [relative risk (RR): 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-3.0] and uneasiness or shame (RR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.3-3.2) to a higher extent than those who had been offered, but rejected a prosthesis. An orchidectomy may result in long-lasting feelings of loss and uneasiness or shame in some men; offering a testicular prosthesis may hinder this experience.

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