Surviving testicular cancer: relationship aspects

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men and a highly curable disease. However, the illness and treatment can negatively affect physical, psychological and social functioning of patients. The same is true for their family, especially their spouses. Being in an intimate relationship can be an important source of support when one is confronted with cancer. It could be that men who are single when diagnosed experience different after effects than men who have a long-term relationship. This thesis therefore focused on functioning of spouses of testicular cancer survivors. Besides, possible differences were studied between single men, men who had the same partner as before diagnosis and men who developed a relationship after their treatment was completed. As a group, spouses appeared to be functioning well: they experience a good quality of life and are satisfied with their relationship. However, 1 in 7 spouses reported such high levels of stress response symptoms that a psychosocial intervention is warranted. Spouses were also less satisfied with their sexual relationship. Couples who developed a relationship after completion of treatment seemed to function a bit worse than couples who faced the cancer experience together: the men more often experienced marital problems and spouses appeared to function worse psychologically. Singles functioned worse than men in a steady relationship, they experienced more depressive symptoms and less self esteem. Health care professionals should pay extra attention to concerns of single patients and survivors. Spouses should be included in the offering of information and guidance.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Hoekstra - Weebers, Josephine, Supervisor
  • Sleijfer, Dirk, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Testistumoren, Overleving, Sociale relaties; Proefschriften
  • urologie


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