I awoke one morning with a pain in my groin area. I decided to try to find the cause of the pain. As I felt around, I found the source of the pain, which was a small lump located on my right testicle.
Like most men in their thirties, I have a regular checkup with a doctor about once a decade, but because this lump was on one of ‘my boys’, I figured I should get it looked at. I underwent a battery of tests including an ultrasound, CAT Scan, blood test and X-ray. I was given a great piece of advice to get copies of all the results, which were given to me on CDs.
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor. I found my cancer was stage 1 and that I was lucky to have discovered the tumor as early as I did. My urologist referred me to an oncologist and I began to educate myself about what to do next.
Could I say goodbye to cancer, forget this had ever happened and put this behind me? I needed a doctor’s advice and I did not feel very comfortable with the oncologist that I had met with, so under advice from another survivor, I decided to find another oncologist.
The most important thing for me was to be the one who was in control of my treatment and I learned that I needed to be my biggest advocate. It is true that no one will care about your well-being as much as you do. Because of this attitude, I sought out one of the best testicular cancer doctors in the country, went to see him and had him refer me to another oncologist in my hometown. I immediately felt a comfort level with this oncologist, learned what to do next and the process of monitoring began.
My first post surgery blood test came back positive, which meant the cancer had returned. Again, I was lucky because the cancer had only returned to my bloodstream and had not had enough time to form any new tumors. By following the protocol of getting checked every two months during the first year post surgery, I was able to keep the cancer from returning with a vengeance. I underwent three rounds of chemo and have been cancer free ever since.
The advice that I would pass along to you is to first be aware of symptoms of cancer so you too can be “lucky.” For anyone facing a similar situation make sure that you are comfortable with your doctor(s), be an advocate for yourself to get the best possible care, get copies of every test result that you can and make sure to get tested on a regular basis. Although no method is 100 percent, early detection makes it much easier to deal with. And I survived due to early detection—twice!
- pain and lump in the right testicle