Purpose: Orchiectomy followed by infradiaphragmatic irradiation is the standard treatment for Stage I-II testicular seminoma in The Netherlands. Because body image and sexual functioning can be affected by treatment, a retrospective study was carried out to assess treatment outcome, body image, and changes in sexuality after orchiectomy and radiotherapy. Methods and Materials: The medical charts of 166 patients with Stage I-II testicular seminoma were reviewed. A questionnaire on body image and current sexual functioning regarding the frequency and quality of erections, sexual activity, significance of sex, and changes in sexuality was sent to 157 patients (at a mean of 51 months after treatment). Results: Seventy-eight percent (n = 123, mean age 42 years) completed the questionnaire. During irradiation, almost half of patients experienced nausea and 19% nausea and vomiting. Only 3 patients had disease relapse. After treatment, about 20% reported less interest and pleasure in sex and less sexual activity. Interest in sex, erectile difficulties, and satisfaction with sexual life did not differ from age-matched healthy controls. At the time of the survey, 17% of patients had erectile difficulties, a figure that was significantly higher than before treatment, but which correlated also with age. Twenty percent expressed concerns about fertility, and 52% found their body had changed after treatment. Cancer treatment had negatively influenced sexual life in 32% of the patients. Conclusions: Orchiectomy with radiotherapy is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for Stage I-II testicular seminoma. Treatment-induced changes in body image and concerns about fertility were detected, but the sexual problems encountered did not seem to differ from those of healthy controls, although baseline data are lacking.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Body image, Radiotherapy, Seminoma, Sexual functioning
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0360-3016(02)02849-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/72633
Journal International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics
Incrocci, L, Hop, W.C.J, Wijnmaalen, A, & Slob, A.K. (2002). Treatment outcome, body image, and sexual functioning after orchiectomy and radiotherapy for Stage I-II testicular seminoma. International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics, 53(5), 1165–1173. doi:10.1016/S0360-3016(02)02849-3