PROs Help Guide Comprehensive Care Plans for Survivors of Testicular Cancer

By Zachary Bessette - December 27, 2022

Results from a prospective, observational, single-institution trial support the use of various questionnaires to help investigate common aspects of long-term testicular cancer survivorship and to inform comprehensive care plans.

The trial was published in Patient Preference and Adherence.

Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young adults—with 95% of patients cured. However, little is known about the severity of late adverse events (eg, anxiety, fear of recurrence, and sexual dysfunction) and their impact on quality of life (QoL).

A group of Italian researchers used questionnaires, such as the Impact of Cancer (IOC) and the Body Image Scale, to assess patient-reported outcomes in a sample of testicular cancer survivors (n=144). Patients were prospectively recruited from February 2020 to February 2022 at the Istituto Oncologico Veneto (IOV). Researchers also used the International Index of Erectile Function and the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool to assess for sexual and fertility disorders.

Results of the IOC questionnaire showed the “positive summary scale” was significantly higher than the negative one, meaning these patients maintained a good QoL and only a moderate fear of disease recurrence. Researchers found that most patients felt satisfied with their body image and had low incidence of both premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. However, they noted that 19.5% of patients with a testicular implant reported general dissatisfaction.

Furthermore, only 18% of patients unsuccessfully attempted fatherhood, while 23.4% succeeded. A low percentage of patients used assisted reproduction procedures and/or adoption as a means of fatherhood.

“These results support the use of various questionnaires as a multifactorial instrument…able to investigate the most common aspects of long-term cancer survivorship,” the study’s authors concluded. “We recommend that every cancer patient should receive an informative end-of-treatment summary report with a survivorship care plan.”