I was home for the holidays and I decided to go on a hike with my family a few days after Christmas. While I was hiking, I began to experience mild testicular discomfort. The pain wasn’t too bad. I figured I had injured myself somehow so I continued hiking. However, the pain didn’t go away. It actually got worse throughout the rest of the day to the point that it became unbearable. I decided to go to an urgent care clinic.
The doctor at the urgent care originally thought it was testicular torsion due to the high level of pain I had, but they quickly ruled that out. Then they suggested that it was an infection and wanted to give me antibiotics and send me on my way. I knew in my gut that that was not the right diagnosis and decided to speak up. I told them that I really didn’t think it was an infection and that I wanted to get more tests done. The doctor told me that they couldn’t do anything else for me at the clinic and sent me to the emergency room.
The ER physician ordered an ultrasound and gave me some pain medication. Though the doctor couldn’t say definitively, he was pretty sure that it was testicular cancer. I was blown away. I didn’t think that pain was a typical symptom of testicular cancer, and I never felt a lump. I needed to see a specialist to verify that it was cancer, so the day after I flew back home, and I went to see a urologist where the diagnosis was confirmed. I had surgery to remove the tumor a few days later and started chemotherapy shortly after that.
I am very glad that I spoke up and was sent to the ER for more tests. It enabled me to get diagnosed sooner. I also think it’s important to know your body, do some research, and be prepared with questions before you meet with your doctor. You play an important role in your healthcare, and the more information you can give the doctor about the health changes you’re experiencing the better off you’ll be in the long run. I feel like having that knowledge made a huge difference when it came time for me to make informed decisions about my health.
- mild persistent testicular discomfort