Quality of life among testicular cancer survivors: A case-control study in the United States

Christopher Kim, Katherine A. McGlynn, Ruth McCorkle, Ralph L. Erickson, David W. Niebuhr, Shuangge Ma, Barry Graubard, Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, Kathryn Hughes Barry, Yawei Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Evidence from previous studies has suggested there may be physical and mental changes in health among testicular cancer survivors. No studies have been conducted in the United States, however. Study participants were initially enrolled in the US Servicemen's Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants (STEED) study between 2002 and 2005. A total of 246 TGCT (testicular germ cell tumor) cases and 236 non-testicular cancer controls participated in the current study, and completed a self-administered questionnaire. Mean time since diagnosis for cases was 14 years, and no less than five for all cases. Component scores determined from responses to questions about physical and mental health on SF36 were tabulated to yield two summary measures, physical component scores (PCS), and mental component scores (MCS). Component and summary scores were normalized to a score of 50 with a standard deviation of 10 by a linear T-score transformation. Overall, cases may not suffer greatly in different quality of life than controls. When all cases and controls are compared, TGCT cases had lower PCS (mean: 51.9 95% CI: 50.6-53.2, P value: 0.037) than controls (mean: 53.6 95% CI: 52.7-54.6). MCS were not significantly different (P value: 0.091). In multivariate analyses, several physical health components were worse for TGCT cases such as role-physical (OR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.01-1.39) and general health (OR 1.26, 95% CI: 1.07-1.49) compared to controls. However, TGCT cases treated with chemotherapy had lower PCS (cases: 50.2, 95% CI: 47.6-52.8; controls: 53.6, 95% CI: 52.7-54.6, P value: 0.0032) and MCS (cases: 49.3, 95% CI: 46.5-52.1; controls: 52.0, 95% CI: 50.9-53.2, P value: 0.039). TGCT cases who received treatments other than chemotherapy did not differ from controls in either PCS or MCS. Physical and general health limitations may affect testicular cancer survivors. Men treated with chemotherapy, however, may be most likely to suffer adverse health outcomes due to a combination of body-wide effects on physical and mental factors which affect various aspects of physical health, mental health, and overall quality of life. And in particular, physical functioning, role-physical, and general health are strongly affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1637
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Health status
  • Quality of life
  • Testicular cancer


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