Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Testicular Cancer
Michael Jubinville, MPH
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your personal risk factors or experience with testicular cancer. By talking openly and regularly with your healthcare provider, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your healthcare provider:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. If you don't, tell the doctor. Ask for educational materials.
- Ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
About Your Risk of Developing Testicular Cancer
- What should I do about an undescended testicle?
- How great is my risk from having had a hernia/hydrocele as a child or mumps in my testicles as an adolescent?
- Are my brothers or sons at risk for testicular cancer now?
About Lumps or Abnormalities You Find
- Is it likely enough to be an infection that can be treated? Or do I need to have tests?
- What type of tests can help find this information?
About Treatment Options
- What treatments are available for me?
- What are the risks and benefits?
- What if I want to have children? How will my fertility be affected? What can I do about it?
- Can you walk me through the information about staging so I can help decide about treatments?
- Are there any recent studies that might improve upon current treatments?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies I should consider?
About Lifestyle Changes
- How much will my treatment interfere with my current lifestyle, and for how long?
- Shall I plan for time off from work?
- Will I still be able to have sex?
- Will I be able to ride a bike or participate in other sports?
- Do I need to make changes in how I eat?
- Is my cancer curable?
- Could cancer come back in my other testicle?
Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed October 1, 2020.
Questions to ask your doctor about cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/questions. Accessed October 1, 2020.
Testicular cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907377/Testicular-cancer. Accessed October 1, 2020.
What should you ask your doctor about testicular cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-doctor.html. Accessed October 1, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 12/4/2020