Psycho-social issues in long-term survivors of testicular cancer: Directions for future research

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Journal Article
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2008, 4 (3), pp. 125 - 131
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Testicular cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in young men and among the most curable of all neoplasms, making patients' long-term physical, psychological and social well-being of major concern. To date, research on outcomes has been restricted almost entirely to survivors in Europe and the USA. The current article reviews the international literature with a view to developing directions for future research in the Asia-Pacific region. We conclude that planning interventions to improve outcomes awaits further, prospective, controlled studies aimed at establishing the predictive value not only of socio-demographic, disease and treatment variables but also of psycho-social variables underlying adjustment and recovery. Ideally, research of this kind would: (i) highlight aspects of the experience of testicular cancer and its treatment that might be targeted by changes to patterns of care, and (ii) identify groups at risk of poor outcomes who could be identified for early intervention through screening. Planning of prospective research would itself benefit from further, large-scale, cross-sectional research aimed at identifying those variables that would prove most informative when tracked over time. Exploratory research of this kind should be aimed at providing a snapshot of men's well-being in the context of a comprehensive range of variables that include patterns of care, unmet needs, satisfaction with treatment and social support as well as disease and treatment variables. Outcome variables should include disease-specific concerns such as psycho-sexual problems as well as general physical, psychological and social well-being. © 2008 The Authors Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
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