Changes to body image
Some people find that they experience changes to their body image after treatment for testicular cancer. Learn about how surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can affect changes to body image, and ways to manage this.
If you have had a testicle removed, it may affect how you feel about yourself as a man. You may have less confidence and feel less sexually desirable. Some men adjust quickly to having one testicle, while others find that it takes some time.
Any type of cancer treatment can change the way you feel about yourself (your self-esteem). You may feel less confident about who you are and what you can do, particularly if your body has changed physically. Some people find that their sense of identity or masculinity is affected by their cancer experience.
- Give yourself time to get used to any changes to your body. Try to see yourself as a whole person (body, mind and personality) instead of focusing on the parts of you that have changed.
- Talk to other people who have had a similar experience. You can call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out about our peer support programs or visit the Cancer Council Online Community.
- Let your partner, if you have one, know how you are feeling. Show your partner any changes and let them touch your body, if you are both comfortable with this.
- If you continue to be concerned about your appearance, you may wish to speak to your medical team about getting an artificial testicle (prosthesis).
- You may also find it helpful to talk to a psychologist if you are having trouble adjusting to any changes – ask your GP for a referral.
Listen to our podcast on Sex and Cancer
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; A/Prof Nicholas Brook, Senior Consultant Urological Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital and The University of Adelaide, SA; Clinical A/Prof Peter Grimison, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and The University of Sydney, NSW; Dr Tanya Holt, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Radiation Oncology Princess Alexandra Hospital Raymond Terrace (ROPART), QLD; Brodie Kitson, Consumer; Elizabeth Medhurst, Genitourinary and Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
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