Coping with testicular cancer

Coping with testicular cancer can be difficult. You may find that you have a number of different feelings.  There are things you can do, people who can help and ways to cope with your diagnosis. 

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 and emotional changes you have might affect your relationships and sex life. There are things that you can do to manage this.

Helping yourself

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

Taking in information can be difficult, especially when you have just been diagnosed. 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 that 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.

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 and them.

Help your family and friends by letting them know if 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. We have cancer information nurses you can call on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Or you may prefer to see a counsellor.

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 help early with these things can mean that they don’t become a big issue later.

Our coping practically section has more information about all these issues. 

Last reviewed: 
17 Dec 2021
Next review due: 
17 Dec 2024
  • EAU Guidelines on Testicular Cancer
    MP Laguna and others
    European Association of Urology 2021

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