The decision to have a prosthesis: A qualitative study of men with testicular cancer
Chapple A., McPherson A.
The aim of this paper is to understand why some men decide to have a testicular prosthesis while others reject the idea and to explore the extent to which the option of a testicular prosthesis is adequately presented. Forty-five men with testicular cancer were interviewed about all aspects of their illness. Some men decided against a prosthesis for a number of reasons; they thought that the loss of a testicle was not visibly obvious, did not affect self-image, was not a long-term threat to masculinity, and that living with one testicle was comfortable. Some did not want additional surgery and others were concerned about safety issues. The men who decided to have a prosthesis were concerned about self-image and a threat to masculinity. They had a desire to look 'normal' and a wish to keep the orchidectomy secret. Some men felt that the decision had been rushed. Others wished that they had had information about the possibility of implants before the orchidectomy or they considered the information presented inadequate. We conclude that it is important to counsel men with testicular cancer about the advantages and disadvantages of having a testicular prosthesis and to give them time to consider issues such as cosmetic appearance, self-image, comfort, possible short term complications and long-term safety. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.