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Surviving Testicular Cancer: The Lebanese Lived Experience

Saab, Mohammad; Noureddine, Samar; Abu-Saad Huijer, Huda; DeJong, Jocelyn

doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000033

Background: Testicular cancer is thought to have a great impact on its survivors, yet there has been limited literature on the topic globally and no literature on the topic in Lebanon and the Arab region.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of Lebanese testicular cancer survivors and gain an in-depth understanding of the psychosexual aspect of their experience.

Methods: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach with semistructured digitally recorded interviews and observational field notes was utilized. A purposive sample of Lebanese testicular cancer survivors, aged between 18 and 50 years, in remission for at least 3 years, and willing to share personal information was recruited. Interviews were transcribed verbatim in Arabic. Data saturation was achieved at the seventh interview; a total of eight informants were recruited. The opening question was, “Tell me about your life since you got treated for testicular cancer,” and was followed by probing questions. Two to three weeks after the initial interview, informants were called to validate the investigators’ primary analysis.

Results: Six core themes emerged: cancer perception in the Lebanese culture; “do not show, do not tell”; cancer experience is a turning point; fertility, manhood, and relationships; coping with cancer; and preserved aspects of life.

Discussion: The findings provide an in-depth understanding of the experience of Lebanese testicular cancer survivors with a focus on the psychosexual aspect of this experience. The results suggest the need to educate patients about testicular cancer and its effect on their fertility.

Mohammad Saab, RN, MSN, is Clinical Instructor; Samar Noureddine, PhD, RN, FAHA, is Associate Professor and Assistant Director for Academic Affairs; and Huda Abu-Saad Huijer, PhD, RN, FEANS, FAAN, is Professor and Director, Hariri School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Jocelyn DeJong, MPhil, PhD, is Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Accepted for publication February 10, 2014.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Ziad Salem and his clinic nurse, Mrs. Hiba Asma, and Dr. Muhammad Bulbul and his clinic assistants, Mrs. Rania Sakr and Mrs. Samah Itani, for their assistance in recruiting study participants.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Corresponding author: Mohammad Saab, RN, MSN, Hariri School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, PO Box 11-0236, Riad El-Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon (e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.