October 17th, 2016

I survived testicular cancer. I do Movember to raise money and beat this disease, so that one day all men will survive.

Darrel Mancini: Taking health into my own hands
Real Stories
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 more about it. A few days later and the pain didn’t subside. Instead, it travelled south to my right testicle. When I went to feel it, there was a small, distinct lump that wasn’t there before.

Internet searches fulfilled 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 had extremely high survival rates. But instead of going to immediately 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 said it may be benign, or a cyst, but to get it checked out right away. During 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 that it didn’t spread. I’ve been told that based on this type of tumour, 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 check in with yourself, pay attention to your body, and feel around sometimes.

I’ve had friends tell me that because of my story, they went to the doctor for a check up. I hope my story can inspire 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.

Darrel Mancini, Mo Bro
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