Sexual Function and Quality of Life in a National Cohort of Survivors of Bilateral Testicular Cancer

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  • Mikkel Bandak, Rigshospitalet, Nykøbing Falster Sygehus
  • ,
  • Jakob Lauritsen, Rigshospitalet
  • ,
  • Christoffer Johansen, Rigshospitalet, Danish Cancer Society
  • ,
  • Michael Kreiberg, Rigshospitalet
  • ,
  • Julie Wang Skøtt, Rigshospitalet
  • ,
  • Mads Agerbaek
  • Niels V. Holm, Odense Universitetshospital
  • ,
  • Gedske Daugaard, Rigshospitalet

Background: Sexual function and quality of life remain unexplored among long-term survivors of bilateral testicular cancer (TC). Objective: To investigate sexual function, fatigue, anxiety, and depression among long-term survivors of bilateral TC (unilateral TC with contralateral germ cell neoplasia in situ [TC + GCNIS] or bilateral TC [BTC]). Design, setting, and participants: This was a cross-sectional study of 2479 long-term TC survivors, of whom 126 were treated with contralateral radiotherapy for GCNIS, 93 were treated with bilateral orchiectomy for BTC, and 2260 had unilateral TC (reference group). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Outcomes were assessed using validated questionnaires at a median time since diagnosis of 17 yr (interquartile range 12–23). Results for survivors of TC + GCNIS and of BTC were compared with those for the reference group. Adjustment was made for age and treatment for disseminated disease. Results and limitations: The age-adjusted risk of anxiety was significantly higher among BTC survivors (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–2.8; p = 0.002) than in the reference group. Apart from a higher risk of reduced motivation among survivors of TC + GCNIS (β = 0.067, 95% CI 0.0013–0.13; p = 0.046) there were no significant differences between the groups. Limitations include the low number of cases with symptoms of depression. Conclusions: Survivors of BTC had a higher risk of anxiety but did not experience impairment of other aspects of quality of life when compared to survivors of unilateral TC. These results are of importance for evidence-based information on late effects for bilateral TC patients. Patient summary: We evaluated quality of life and sexual function among long-term survivors of bilateral testicular cancer. Reassuringly, we did not find impaired quality of life apart from a higher risk of anxiety when comparing survivors of bilateral testicular cancer with survivors of unilateral testicular cancer. Long-term survivors of bilateral testicular cancer had a higher risk of anxiety but not of sexual dysfunction when compared to long-term survivors of unilateral testicular cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Pages (from-to)711-719
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Bilateral orchiectomy, Germ cell neoplasia in situ, Late effects, Sexual dysfunction, Testicular cancer, Testosterone deficiency

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