Lee’s Story

No ordinary shower

I first discovered I had a problem with my balls at the age of 35, after I had finished a night shift and was having a shower. I checked myself as I have done ever since I played sport at a high level, and found three bumps shaped like crests of a wave on one of my testicles.

I was told about the importance of checking myself by a coach at one of the sports clubs I used to play at. I’m very sporty, you see. I used to play cricket for my county, and I’ve played football for Warminster Town and a few other local teams.

I believe my awareness of testicular cancer helped me to get a diagnosis relatively early. If I’d never checked myself, I may not have noticed until very late on, and – who knows – the outcome could have been very different.

GP ASAP

Luckily, it only took me a day to get an appointment to see my doctor. I was scared at the thought that it might be cancer, but I didn’t put off going, as I know how important it is to have the problem checked out ASAP in all cases. Embarrassment wasn’t an factor for me, as I knew that without my health I might not get the chance to see my kids grow up – and I wasn’t going to let that happen if I could help it.

Scans, specialists and surgery

After seeing my doctor, I had to wait five weeks to get an ultrasound scan at Bath hospital. Then, a week later, I saw a specialist who diagnosed testicular cancer without a biopsy – this was in December 2011. He arranged for me to have an operation to remove the testicle. The date of the op was 25th January – my Mum’s birthday.

The operation was followed up with a course of BEP chemo. Once I finished this I was told to take things easy, and that I would need to come back for a CT scan between 4 and 6 weeks later. I had the scan, and unfortunately the results showed I still had a tumor. It took a major operation to get rid of it, which I had in September 2012.

The operation was a success, and I’m happy to say I’m now in remission.

A word to the wise

Even though I thought I’d caught my cancer early, I have actually been through a lot. So what I’d say to other men is this: if you have time to shower, you have time to check yourself. It only take a few seconds to do it, and if you do it regularly it could stop you from having to go through as much as I did.

My advice to you is to check yourself as often as you can. And if you do find something out of the ordinary, go and see your doctor ASAP! It may not even be cancer, so try not to worry too much. Don’t forget that if it is cancer, the recovery rate for testicular cancer is very high.

 

Follow Lee’s lead by checking your balls once a month as part of your routine in the shower.

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