One symptom that led university student to get checked for testicular cancer

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Tom Belfield, from London, had no pain and no obvious symptoms in the lead up to his testicular cancer diagnosis.

But one day, he noticed his right testicle felt different to the left, something he hadn’t noticed before.

He told Express.co.uk: “After noticing a difference I initially felt worried and a bit anxious, but I pushed it to the back of my mind and told myself it wouldn’t be as serious as it was.

“This was one of the reasons that almost stopped me getting it checked.”

Due to his commitments at university, Tom left it approximately six weeks before he went and saw a medical professional for the irregularity in one of his testicles, and at that point he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

He said: “It felt like one of those cliché moments in a military film where a bomb goes off and your ears are ringing and you can’t hear anything.

“Information and support was being given to me but I just couldn’t process it all. My main thoughts were how I was going to tell my parents and friends, I mainly didn’t want it to worry them but also impact me and my youth, stopping me going out and having fun.”

Fortunately, Tom was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer. He said: “Due to me being diagnosed three days before Christmas, the medical team encouraged me to enjoy the remainder of the year and new years prior to my surgery which was mid-Jan.

“I had a lot of intervention prior to my treatment and surgery. I had to go to various hospitals for urgent CT’s, sperm banking appointments and various other commitments prior to my surgery which was January 17th.  

“This was difficult to juggle around the festive and new year period, as well as dissertation deadlines and exams at university.”

But out of a stressful time came some good news – Tom is now fully recovered.

He explained: “Fortunately the stage I caught it at meant that removal of the testicle stopped the spread of the cancer and means that my next steps are active surveillance for the next five years.”

Looking back, Tom’s main advice for anyone, female or male, who suspects something abnormal is to get checked.

Now 22, Tom said: “Ironically prior to me checking and spotting a lump, I had only checked one more time prior to that when I was 15. If there’s a lump that is a bit different to another, a mole that you haven’t seen before, or you’re just a bit worried about something and get it checked.

“I could have easily been too blasé about the situation and not get checked which I was close to doing, however now I cannot express how happy I am that I got it checked. I’m living life to the fullest again and so grateful that I didn’t wait as my treatment and journey could have been a lot different.”

Tom was supported by cancer charity Maggie’s, who offer free support and advice to anyone living with cancer, their family and friends, find your nearest centre at www.maggies.org.  

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