A Teen Found Out He Had Testicular Cancer By Taking A Pregnancy Test
A British survivor of testicular cancer is alive due to a relatively unknown method of detection: a pregnancy test.
Cambridgeshire's Byron Geldard, 18 at the time, visited his doctor because of an ache in his side, the Telegraph reports.
The boy was told he had nothing to worry about, however, as his doctor attributed the pain to exercise.
He returned to the doctor a few months later, following a trip to the Greek island of Kavos with some friends.
Geldard had developed a lump on his side and underwent an ultrasound exam immediately after this visit.
Doctors found a tumor had spread to Geldard's lungs and abdomen, but they weren't positive which type of cancer he had.
Geldard told the Telegraph,
I could have had four or five different types. The doctor kept saying things but it wasn't really going in. I left the room and fainted - I think it was the fear of the unknown.
Geldard was soon contacted by the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Cambridge and told to provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test.
According to the Telegraph, an emerging placenta in a woman creates the same hormone yielded by a disease that afflicts tens of thousands of men worldwide.
A positive pregnancy test led to the teen's diagnosis of stage four testicular cancer.
A spokeswoman for the Teenage Cancer Trust said these tests have been used to diagnose testicular cancer for roughly six years.
It is relatively unknown as patients don't really talk about it. If the test results in a cancer diagnosis then obviously, it becomes irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, and if it is negative, it just means that further tests are needed.
Geldard began chemotherapy the day after his diagnosis.
I would go in for five days in a row and have the chemo constantly. It really took it out of me -- my brain was muddled and I found it hard to concentrate on long films or books.
The hormone had been largely present in the beginning of his treatment, but his chemotherapy proved to be working.
Geldard had the significantly diminished tumor in his abdomen, one testicle and the lymph nodes behind his stomach removed last December.
A test revealed him to be cancer free the next month.
Before all this happened you think your life is pretty much guaranteed until you're about 85 but it gave me the realization of my own mortality -- I sort of had an early midlife crisis. There is one quote that helped me through which was 'Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery and today's a gift.' It may be from 'Kung Fu Panda' but it is how I feel.
Geldard, now 19, has since become an ambassador for the Teenager Cancer Trust and will be speaking to students about testicular cancer.
He is also crafting a standup comedy show to spread awareness about the disease.