Matthew Way was 19 years old, and playing on his college’s tennis team. Just before a big match, he noticed something didn’t feel quite right in his lower region. When he went to the doctor, he was shocked to find out he had testicular cancer. After surgery and radiation treatment, he seemed to be cured. But just 14 years later, when he was 33, it came back. He repeated the treatment and it’s been gone for the past seven years.
Way was one of the lucky ones. Doctors say many men don’t perform monthly self-exams to check for irregularities, while many others don’t seek medical help for something that doesn’t feel right until it’s too late. The disease most commonly occurs in men in their 20’s and 30’s, though it can happen at any age.
In the video, Dr. Ajay Nangia, a urologist with The University of Kansas Health System, urges men of all ages to be aware of the risks and symptoms of testicular cancer especially during April’s Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. He says examining a man’s testicles should be part of their physical check-up. “Regular screening can save your life,” Dr. Nangia said. “Many times, a lump on the testicle is the first symptom, or you may find the testicle is swollen or larger than normal. Sometimes tumors can cause pain or a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. By being proactive and seeing your physician right away, you have the best chances for a cure. Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, particularly when caught early.”
Also in the video, Matthew Way talks about what it was like finding out at a young age that he had the disease, and then the shock of having it come back. He talks about his treatment, what the future looks like for him and his most important advice for all men.
The video also includes Way at work as an athletic trainer at DeSoto High School.