Tom Dempsey was living his dream. The 31-year-old Kansas City television reporter had a great job and a loving family. But one day, during a routine self-exam, Dempsey noticed something wasn’t quite right with one of his testicles. After a few weeks and several tests, it was confirmed he had testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is considered rare but highly treatable. Tom's treatment was to remove the testicle, and replace it with a prothesis. He’s now using his voice to reach other men about it and hopefully save lives.
Dr. Jeff Holzbeierlein is Director of Urologic Oncology and Chair of the Department of Urology at The University of Kansas Cancer Center…and Tom’s doctor. In the video, he says 1 in 250 men will develop testicular cancer and in 2019 about 400 will die. He says it's important for parents to talk to their sons at an early age. Men are at the highest risk of testicular cancer up the age of 35, so Holzbeierlein says boys should start doing regular testicular exams as early as 11-12. Signs can include fatigue, lower back pain, nipple tenderness and pain in the testicles. While Tom is not considered officially cancer free, signs show the cancer is gone, but he will remain on close observation for the next 2 years.
Also in the video, Tom Dempsey and his girlfriend Nicole DiAntonio share the journey of Tom’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, including surgery. He explains how vital his support system was in helping him. He talks about what he learned before and after his experience, and how it’s changed his perspective on life. He hopes his experience can offer insight and hope to other men and encourage them to tell their doctor when something doesn’t feel right.