Female Relatives' Experiences of Testicular Cancer
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing and Public Health
A qualitative descriptive study was undertaken using open-ended semi-structured interviews with 18 female relatives of men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer to determine their experiences of coping with the illness and their support needs. Women were recruited from two Australian States. The impact on women whose partner or son had testicular cancer was described using the metaphor of attempting to navigate a small boat through a storm. The experiences of these women are captured by five themes: sensing atmospheric change, registering the swell, trying to ride the waves, balancing, and calmer waters - reconstructing health. Findings indicate that women had multiple support needs and experienced profound loneliness in their search for support. Recommendations for clinical practice include the provision of disease specific information, emotional support and sensitive information disclosure, specifically around sexuality and fertility concerns from diagnosis onward.