Writes Darrel Mancini:
I woke up on a Sunday morning in February 2013 with a strange soreness in my lower abdomen. Chalking it up to a hangover, I left it alone and didn’t think much about it. A few days later, the pain didn’t subside. Instead, it travelled south to my right testicle. When I felt it, there was a small, distinct lump that wasn’t there before.
Internet searches endorsed my fears—it was a possible symptom of testicular cancer. With my father having died from brain cancer, and my grandfather dying before him of lung cancer, all I could think about was the worst case scenario. Was I next?
My Google searches told me that testicular cancer is very treatable and that early diagnosis brought extremely high survival rates. However, instead of going immediately to see my doctor, I continued to wait. I didn’t sleep for two weeks, letting my mind wander to the worst potential outcome and playing it all out for the worse. From seeing both my father and grandfather die of cancer, I knew what it could do to someone. And I didn’t want to know if I had it or not.
Finally, I talked to a client who is a doctor. He told me it could be benign, or a cyst, but to get it checked out right away. After a few more tests and consultations, I was scheduled in for surgery and had my right testicle removed. It was cancer—small enough and caught early enough; it didn’t spread. I’ve been told that it is likely to come back though I’ll have a 97% chance of survival.
Early detection is crucial. All you have to do is pay attention to your body and feel around sometimes. Some friends tell me that they went to the doctor for a check-up because of my story. I hope my story inspires others because catching it early is imperative. As a personal trainer, my job is to promote health, and that goes for all aspects of our health. That’s why I do Movember.
First published in Movember Australia