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10 Things People Affected by Testicular Cancer Want You to Know

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April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, but many people still remain unaware of the serious facts about this disease. Here are a few, courtesy of the Movember Foundation:

  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer for men between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • There are more than 8,700 new testicular cancer diagnoses each year.
  • The rate of diagnosis has doubled in the last 50 years.

The Movember Foundation launched its #KnowThyNuts campaign this month to emphasize the importance of early detection and education. “Cancer is a hell of a word. When they break it to you, it feels like your world is falling apart,” Ben Bowers, who has survived testicular cancer twice, explains on Movember’s website. “To be told you have this life-threatening illness is a big shock. I’m encouraging everyone to get to know your nuts and raise awareness about testicular cancer, because with early detection, we can save lives.”

We reached out to our Mighty community and the Movember Foundation‘s community to ask what people wish the rest of the world knew about testicular cancer. Their responses, like Bowers’, help raise awareness and support for anyone who has been or may one day be affected by testicular cancer.

“Cancer survivor here. At 27, I had the cancerous testicle removed, and at 29, had a tumor on a lymph node and underwent radiation for that one. Even prior to cancer, I was living healthy. Working out, riding my bike everywhere, eating well, non-smoker and a light drinker. And I still got cancer twice, at a young age… So the one thing I want people to know about this disease is that it’s not our grandfathers or fathers AKA ‘old people’ getting this disease. This disease doesn’t segregate, doesn’t decipher age or race or any of that. We need to be proactive, do early checks and open the discussion about this disease.” — thebrentkepfer2x on Instagram

“I was lucky and survived. By accident found one small point on one side that didn’t react to pressure and went to the hospital next morning. There, I found out; you only have one year left to live if you don’t react and see a doctor immediately… You might think losing one ball is the worst thing that could happen to a man, but the moment you realize that one of them is trying to kill you, it’s easy to say goodbye.” — christiananderl on Instagram

“My father got it at age 32. He was treated immediately and it came back and spread throughout his body for the next 30 years. Be vigilant, be hyper-vigilant.” — Jennifer Chappell

Check your balls, period. And spread the word! My husband got diagnosed in mid-February. Since then two of my friends and one of his went to the doctor to find out they have something. There is too much fear, embarrassment or the ‘never is gonna happen to me’ thinking. Since February I talk out loud about testicular cancer and breast cancer too and how a monthly self-check can help us big time. Don’t be afraid, and educate people, make them feel comfortable to keep asking you questions. Thank to the goodness my husband’s case was very easy. In a little over a month he was cancer-free without needing chemo. Now he’s just healing emotionally, and we are ready for the three-months check-ups.” — andreham on Instagram

“My little brother, Gubert, passed away April 15, 2011 of testicular cancer. This disease can strike men of any age. My little brother was 17. I’ve known fighters that got it even younger than that. I’ve learned that boys simply don’t take it too seriously when it comes to their business down below. We need to educate our young boys, to speak up and not be ashamed, as it might save their lives!” — Domi Wong

“My husband was diagnosed at 36. It was a long two years of treatments and worry. We don’t hold back telling guys to check themselves. Women constantly hear about doing breast exams monthly, guys, young guys in particular, need to hear about checking their jewels monthly.” — Caroline Greenwood Grunwell

Take it seriously.” — John Jordan

Be vigilant in treating testicular cancer. They say that if you are young when you get it and treat it, it most likely won’t spread. That is not always true.” — Chronic Beauty

Men between the ages of 15 years old and 35 years old, testicular cancer is the number-one most common male cancer! Anything found earlier is better, so one time a month, all men check their balls in a hot shower and feel for a ‘bump/lump’ or ‘hardened ball,’ and if you feel something in/on one versus the other, go to a urologist right away! Let’s save more lives, good peeps!” — Jonny Imerman

“In May 2012 I went to the doctor for some swelling. It was at that visit I was told I had cancer. That is probably one of the scariest things a person can be told. Just three days later I was in for surgery to remove the testicle. Luckily we were able to catch it early on where no radiation or chemo was necessary… only routine blood work and exams. Just yesterday I received a call that my latest blood work was normal. Next month will be four years, and my wife and I have a baby boy coming in June! Checking yourself is so important and should not be an embarrassing thing to talk about. I wish the very best for everyone here and for everyone who has, or knows someone, who has been through this.” — johngl80 on Instagram

Editor’s note: Some answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Is there anything you’d add to this list? Share with us in the comments section below.

The Mighty, in partnership with Fuck Cancer, is asking the following: Share a story about one moment or conversation related to a cancer diagnosis or experience that made an impact on you. Find out how to email us a story submission here.

Originally published: April 21, 2016
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