Testicular cancer is diagnosed in about 1 in 300 men in their lifetime. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in under 35 year old men. It is also one of the
most curable if discovered early but is difficult to treat if caught late and metastases (spreads) elsewhere in the body. The good news is that approximately 140,000 men in the United
States are testicular cancer survivors.
Just before the recent Olympics, a swimmer, Eric Shanteau came across the tumour by chance; he just felt something that wasn't
suppose to be there so decided to go and get it checked out. He could have understandably chosen to ignore the lump given the furore surrounding the Olympics, but understood the importance of
early detection. His Dad, Rick, is battling lung cancer and
responding well to treatment.
Ultimately, Shanteau decided to put off the surgery until after the biggest event of his life, but at least he made a rational decision based on the doctor's diagnosis and went on to swim a personal best in the 200m breastroke. He is now doing well and recovering after the surgery removed most of the cancer.
Another famous athlete who was diagnosed with testicular cancer was Lance Armstrong, the cyclist, but his cancer was diagnosed much later and required chemotherapy. His story about his fight for life and successful return to the cycling tour inspired many people around the world.