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||Close ties: an exploratory Colored Eco-Genetic Relationship Map (CEGRM) study of social connections of men in Familial Testicular Cancer (FTC) families.
||Peters JA, Kenen R, Hoskins LM, Glenn GM, Kratz C, Greene MH
||Hered Cancer Clin Pract
||BACKGROUND: Testicular cancer, while rare compared with other adult solid tumors, is the most common cancer in young men in northern Europe and North America. Risk factors include white race, positive family history, contralateral testicular cancer, cryptorchidism, infertility and testicular microlithiasis. As the genetic causes of familial clusters (Familial Testicular Cancer or FTC) are being sought, it is also important to understand the psycho-social experiences of members of FTC families. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional examination via the Colored Eco-Genetic Relationship Map (CEGRM) of social connections reported by 49 men in FTC families participating in NCI research study 02-C-178. RESULTS: The CEGRM was acceptable and feasible for use with men in FTC families, and valuable in understanding their social connections. These men have largely adjusted to the TC history in themselves and/or their relatives. They have considerable social and emotional support from family and friends, although there is wide variability in sources and types. CONCLUSIONS: The CEGRM focuses on men's social connections and close emotional bonds in FTC families. This action-oriented process of placing colored symbols on significant relationships uncovered previously under-appreciated emotions accompanying men's social exchanges. Most men in FTC families succeed in re-establishing a sense of normalcy in their lives and social connections, in the aftermath of a testicular cancer diagnosis.