Don’t Ignore The Signs: Testicular Cancer
Losing a son at age 19.
That’s why Can-Sir is spreading the message to young men not to ignore a swollen testicle, enlarged breasts or other symptoms of testicular cancer.
Mike Campbell was in his second year at Fleming University when he was diagnosed at Peterborough Regional Health Centre with testicular cancer on Dec. 18. He died 12 days later.
His mom says, if her Mike had not ignored the symptoms for as long as he did, he might have survived. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sensitive area of the body to talk about, she says, men should not ignore the signs. By the time Mike went to the hospital it had spread through his body and into his brain.
“Mike was six-foot-four and 235 pounds. He was a big, solid boy and played sports all his life,” said his mom. “You wouldn’t think something could take him down that fast.
“If you detect it early, it is very curable,” she said. “We want to make sure every boy learns how to check himself and that he does it. Check yourself once a month and if there are any changes in your testicles, any bumps, that’s the first sign.”
She says young men often don’t consider the risks.
“When they’re 18 or 19 years old it’s not something you’re going to tell your parents about, that your testicles are growing. Traditionally, it’s only one. You think ‘Oh well, I hit it on something’ and you ignore it.”
Testicular cancer can affect your daily life in various ways. How men cope with diagnosis and with their treatment varies from person to person. There are several forms of support if you need it. It can help to:
- Talk to your friends and family. They can be a powerful support system.
- Communicate with other people who are in the same situation.
- Know as much as possible about your condition. Do not try to do too much or overexert yourself.
- Make time for yourself.
Talking to people
As well as talking to friends and family, some men find it easier and helpful to talk to other men who are experiencing or have experienced testicular cancer. Healthtalkonline: testicular cancer is a collection of real stories from men who have experienced testicular cancer.
Sex and relationships
You may be concerned about how testicular cancer and your treatment will affect your relationships, sex life, and fertility (ability to father children). If you have one testicle removed because of testicular cancer, this should not affect your sex life or fertility. If you have both testicles removed, it may be possible to bank sperm to use later if you want to have children. Testosterone supplementation can help to maintain your sexual function. After any treatment for testicular cancer, you may find that you feel less like having sex. This is normal, and usually temporary. Learn more: Your sex life and testicular cancer.
Money and finances
If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it hard to cope financially. If you have cancer or you are caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support:
- If you have a job but cannot work because of your illness, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer.
- If you don’t have a job and cannot work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance.
- If you are caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
You may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home or if you have a low household income. Find out early what help is available to you. Speak to the social worker at your hospital, who can give you the information you need.