Dan Collins - Tax Manager
I learnt how important self-examination is when I found a lump in one of my testicles two years ago. At first I dismissed it, I thought it was probably just a knock from playing rugby, but after a couple of days it didn't go away and my wife started to nag me about going to see the doctor. Of course I felt embarrassed about it all and didn't really want to go but thank heavens I listened to her. The doctor said it was most probably a cyst but sent me for an ultrasound to have it checked out. I was called back to the doctor's surgery the day after the scan and that's when they told me I had cancer. The news was devastating but I took comfort from the fact that they caught it early. The next day I had surgery to remove the testicle and there was only one week between me first seeing my GP and having the operation. It all happened so fast it was hard to take it all in. I realised that the medical staff all did their bit; all I had to do was make that first doctor's appointment.
Tests showed that the cancer was stage 1 and had not spread which was a big relief. Catching the cancer early meant that, after consultation with specialists in Southampton, my treatment would be monitored on a surveillance programme involving a rigorous 5 years of testing instead of a course of chemotherapy. 18 months on and I am cancer-free and living a normal life. Having only one testicle makes no difference to me and I feel lucky to be alive and well.