Perceptions of masculinity and self-image in adolescent and young adult testicular cancer survivors: Implications for romantic and sexual relationships

Melissa Y. Carpentier, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Mary A. Ott, Mary J. Brames, Lawrence H. Einhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine adolescent and young adult (AYA) testicular cancer survivors' subjective understanding of the impact of cancer in adolescence and young adulthood, with a particular emphasis on romantic and sexual relationships. Methods: Twenty-one AYA testicular cancer survivors, aged 18 to 34 years, were recruited from outpatient testicular cancer follow-up clinics and completed a semi-structured qualitative interview that assessed the impact of testicular cancer on their romantic and sexual relationships. Results: Four themes were identified that reflected survivors' understanding of the impact of cancer in adolescence and young adulthood: (1) embarrassment leads to delays in care-seeking, (2) testicular cancer makes you feel different from others, (3) being different from others makes you damaged goods, and (4) cancer disclosure is difficult. Conclusions: As these themes represent important components of being in a romantic/sexual relationship, either currently or in the future, AYA testicular cancer survivors would benefit from the development of tailored interventions focused on improving these relevant domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-745
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • masculinity
  • oncology
  • qualitative
  • romantic relationships
  • self-image
  • testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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