It's thanks to cancer research that I have a future to look forward to with my family
4th June 2021
After losing his dad and both grandfathers to cancer, Jack was naturally terrified to find a lump in his testicle when he was just 28. Now 33, he and his wife Catherine recently welcomed their second son into the world - and he credits research and early detection with his positive outcome.
“When I first found the lump in my testicle I kept it to myself, but then I remembered the promise I'd made to my dad when he was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer - that I would take any symptoms seriously.”
After I, quite literally, sat on it for a few weeks before speaking to my girlfriend, I finally plucked up the courage to tell her and she said if I wanted to go camping that weekend, I had to make an appointment to get it checked out first.
As I was en route to the Lake District, I got a call from my GP to say that he suspected it could be cancer. My only real relationship with cancer was one where people died, so when I heard that I had it, my first thought was 'oh, this is it then'.
It was all a whirlwind after that phone call - a week later I was in the hospital for scans, and less than a month after my first visit to the GP my lump was removed. Mentally things actually got tougher after the surgery, as I didn't find out conclusively whether it was cancerous for around six months - and whether or not I would require further treatment.
“I've been told that if I'd got testicular cancer 40 years ago, I would have had a less than 5% chance of survival. But now it's more than 95% - which is all down to the incredible work of charities like Worldwide Cancer Research who have helped change the outcomes of the disease.”
Personally, I was very lucky in my experience with cancer as it was found so early, I didn't need chemotherapy. I only wish the outcome could have been as positive for my dad and grandfathers.
For most cancers, time can be your biggest asset. My dad didn't act quickly, he had symptoms of bowel cancer for months and when he finally went to get checked he was told he only had six months to live. Don't be a hero, it's really important that you reach out to someone if you're worried or concerned.
Finding out that my son George was on the way felt like the real victory. Cancer feels like it's out to scupper all your plans, so to have firstly survived, and then to find out we could still have a family, winning is the only way to describe it.
"Testicular cancer affects a huge number of men, but UK survival rates have made impressive jumps thanks to research funded by charities like Worldwide Cancer Research."
Since the early 1970s, the mortality rate for testicular cancer has decreased by 84%, thanks to both early detection and advancements in treatment.
But for many other cancers survival rates still need to be improved, which is why continuing to start new cures for cancer is so vital. We’d like to say a massive thank you to Jack for sharing his powerful story, and to all our supporters, who make this vital investment possible.
- Dr Helen Rippon, Worldwide Cancer Research Chief Executive
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