Newcastle personal trainer urges men to take the time to check for changes or lumps in their testicles following testicular cancer surgery | Newcastle Herald

by fitness journalist

Newcastle personal trainer urges men to take the time to check for changes or lumps in their testicles following testicular cancer surgery

Check 'em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Picture: Marina Neil

IT’S a sensitive area, but it shouldn’t be a sensitive topic, testicular cancer and men’s health advocate Drew Duggan says.

The personal trainer is urging men to be their own “safety net” and take the time to check for changes or lumps in their testicles following his recent experience with the disease.

“In every crisis there is an opportunity, and I thought my opportunity here was to be able to share my experience, and hopefully help someone else,” he said.

Mr Duggan, 34, was doing a self-examination in January when he discovered what turned out to be a malignant tumour in one of his testicles.

While recovering from surgery earlier this month, Mr Duggan shared a video about his experience via different social media platforms.

The video has since been viewed close to 8000 times.

‘No one is immune to it, no one is invincible, it can happen to anyone’

Check ’em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Picture: Marina Neil

Check ’em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Pictured at home with dog, Diego. Picture: Marina Neil

Check ’em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Pictured at home with dog, Diego. Picture: Marina Neil

Check ’em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Pictured at home with dog, Diego. Picture: Marina Neil

Check ’em: Six months after personal trainer Drew Duggan began checking for changes, he found a lump. Pictured at home with dog, Diego. Picture: Marina Neil

“The reason I shared it was because about 12 months ago, a good friend of mine who lives in Sydney got testicular cancer, and it came as a massive shock to all of us boys, because none of us had ever had any illnesses or anything like that,” he said.

“It was a real wake up call that these things can happen.

“From that time on I started checking myself – which I had never done ever before in my life – and six months later I found what turned out to be a malignant tumour.

“So I felt very fortunate that my friend had shared his journey with me, and what happened with him.”

The Cancer Council says while testicular cancer is not a common cancer, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer after skin cancer in men aged 20-to-39.

In Australia, about 850 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year, accounting for about 1 per cent of all cancers in men.

It occurs most often in men aged 25-to-40.

In the past few years, Mr Duggan had raised about $7000 for Movember – which raises awareness and funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

“I thought it was a fun and important charity to be involved with, and in the past couple of years it has become even more important to me, because my stepfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” he said. “Now it has taken on a whole new meaning for me again.

“I was participating in Movember with the goal of raising awareness, but it took something happening to a close friend of mine, something relatable and close to me, to really raise my own awareness.”

Mr Duggan is now waiting to hear whether he will require further treatment.

“No one is immune to it, no one is invincible, it can happen to anyone, and we have to be our own safety net with it and be looking after ourselves,” he said.

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