UK man who survived testicular cancer becomes father: Here’s how to do testicle self-exam
Unlike other cancers, testicular cancer is much more common in younger men. Doctors recommend regular testicle self-examination to identify testicular cancer at its earliest stage. Watch out for these warning signs and symptoms.
By: Longjam Dineshwori
This article is a repost which originally appeared on THE Health Site
In what could be called a miracle, a UK man who lost his right testicle to cancer recently became a father. Joseph Kelley Hook was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2017, when he was 29. Joseph knew something was very wrong when started feeling agonising pain in his groin and his right testicle had tripled in size. After a long fight, he finally defeated the cancer and was declared all clear in January 2018. But he never thought he would be able to have kids as he had his right testicle removed, plus chemo is known to reduce fertility. [The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction].
But in March this year, Joseph became a father when his partner Rachel gave birth to their son Jacob. He had frozen his sperm in case the couple ever needed it for IVF. But amazingly, he and Rachel were able to conceive naturally and didn’t need IVF.
Doctors in the UK say that testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in young men in the country. Joseph felt lucky that his cancer was caught early because of which could beat the deadly disease. He suggests all men to check their testicles and go to a doctor if they see or feel any changes.
Testicular cancer: Causes and risk factors
Compared with other types of cancer, testicular cancer is rare. But unlike other cancers, it is much more common in younger men, particularly those between ages 15 and 35. Men in their 30s are said to be at highest risk. Usually, testicular cancer affects only one testicle.
Doctors are not clear about what causes testicular cancer in most cases. But they know that it occurs when healthy cells in a testicle become altered. Sometimes some cells may develop abnormalities and grow out of control. These accumulating cancer cells may form a mass in the testicle. Testicular cancers mostly begin in the germ cells — the cells in the testicles that produce immature sperm. But what causes these cells to become abnormal and develop into cancer is unclear.
Factors that may increase your risk of testicular cancer include: An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism), abnormal testicle development, family history, age, and race. Testicular cancer is found to be more common in white men than in black men. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent this cancer from occurring.
Know the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
In almost all diseases, early detection can lead to better treatment results and higher survival rate. Luckily, testicular cancer is highly treatable. The treatment will, however, depend on the type and stage of testicular cancer. Doctors also recommend regular testicle self-examination to identify testicular cancer at its earliest stage. So, watch out for these warning symptoms of testicular cancer to get it treated early.
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
- Back pain
If any pain, swelling or lumps in your testicles or groin last longer than two weeks, you need to see a doctor.