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Coping with testicular cancer

What you can do, who can help and how to cope with testicular cancer.

Your feelings

You are likely to have a range of emotions that change very quickly. You might feel upset, frightened and confused. One day you might feel positive and able to cope but the next day feel the exact opposite. This is natural.

Cancer and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. These changes can be very difficult to cope with and may affect the way you feel about yourself. Changes can affect:

  • your self esteem
  • the way you relate to others, especially close family and friends
  • your sex life, if you're in a sexual relationship

You might have to cope with feeling very tired and lethargic, especially after treatment.

Counselling can help you to cope with the difficulties you’ll face. It can help to reduce your stress and improve your quality of life.

Physical effects

Testicular cancer and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. These changes may affect the way you feel about yourself and how you relate to family, friends and other people.

Surgery may cause scarring. You may also have pain in the area for some weeks afterwards.

You may feel very tired and lethargic for a while if you have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

One or all of these changes may affect your sex life.

Relationships and sex

The physical changes you have can affect your relationships and sex life. There are things that you can do to help.

Helping yourself

You are more able to cope and make decisions if you have information about your type of cancer and its treatment. Information also helps you to know what to expect.

Taking in information can be difficult at first. Make a list of questions before you see your doctor. Take someone with you to remind you what you want to ask and help remember the answers.

Ask your doctors and nurses to explain things again if you need them to.

Remember, you don’t have to sort everything out at once. It might take some time to deal with each issue. Ask for help if you need it.

Treatment causes side effects. These can be mild or more severe. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any or if they get worse. They can treat them and help you find ways of coping.  

Talking to other people

Talking to your friends and relatives about your cancer can help and support you. But some people are scared of the emotions this could bring up and won’t want to talk. They might worry that you won't be able to cope with your situation.

It can strain relationships if your family or friends don't want to talk. But talking can help increase trust and support between you.

Help your family and friends by letting them know you would like to talk about what’s happening and how you feel.

You might find it easier to talk to someone outside your own friends and family.

You can call the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Coping practically

Practical things you and your family might need to cope with include:

  • money matters
  • financial support, such as benefits, sick pay and grants
  • work issues
  • childcare

Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse to find out who can help. Getting early help with these things can mean that they don’t become a big issue later.

Last reviewed: 
17 Sep 2014
  • Guidelines on Testicular Cancer
    P Albers (chairman) and others
    European Association of Urology, 2012

  • Testicular seminoma and non seminoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up
    J Oldenburg and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2013, 24 (supplement 6 ): vi125-vi132

Information and help

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.​