Fighting Testicular Cancer
Daniel J.'s Story
By Angela Generoso
Reviewed by William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR
His scar is small, about four to five inches on his lower abdomen, just above the groin area. He doesn't really notice it much anymore, but the six-year memory lives vividly in his mind.
Daniel J. was never aware of the importance of self-exams for signs of testicular cancer, until he became a patient himself. As a 25-year-old delivery man at a local flower shop in Oakland, Calif., with no health insurance, he was more than unprepared when the situation arose. Looking back, he is surprised how little is done to inform the male population of the dangers of testicular cancer throughout adolescence.
"I came home from work on a Saturday, and within a couple of hours, I started feeling pain in my groin," Daniel said. "My scrotumwas swollen and tender."
Thinking he had simply strained himself at work that day, Daniel took a nap, hoping it would just go away. But when he woke up later that evening, the pain was still there.
Daniel recalls doing a quick search online to figure out what his symptoms meant. Among the possibilities, he saw the words testicular cancer and started to become nervous.
"It was just a possibility at that moment, so I didn't have any specific reason to believe that was the cause," Daniel said. "I went to the emergency room, and I was clinging to the hope that it was a herniaor something simple. Anything but cancer."