A MALVERN man who thought he had a groin strain which turned out to be testicular cancer is now backing a campaign to spot the disease sooner.
Richard Noble said he was ‘fairly relaxed’ when visiting his GP in 1998 and did not think the pain he was feeling in his stomach and discomfort in one of his testicles ‘was anything to do with cancer’.
In fact he thought it was down to handling heavy motorbikes which he rode regularly at the time.
The owner of PF2 Health Club in Townsend Way was soon referred to the Worcester Royal Infirmary where he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
He said: “I didn’t think it was anything nasty, maybe just an infection of some sort. But I got sent down for an ultrasound scan and there very, very clear on the screen was a tumour on my left testicle. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Within 24 hours he had an operation to remove the testicle followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.
After the scare which he described as a ‘close shave’ Richard decided to open his own health club in 2003.
Now he is backing the Spot Cancer Sooner campaign which encourages people to get to know what is normal for their bodies and spot any changes at an early stage.
Richard added: “Us men don’t want to go to the doctors because you don’t think anything is wrong.
“It was, quite genuinely, my wife who booked my GP appointment, and thank goodness she did. I wasn’t going.
“Early diagnosis is very important, but it is also the research that goes into cancer that allows me to be alive and kicking.”
The drive began at the start of March and posters aimed at getting the message across appeared throughout the West Midlands, backed up by a social media campaign.
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse for Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s really important to know what is normal for your body and not be afraid to discuss any changes you notice.
“When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment is much more likely to be successful.
“Knowing what’s normal for your body gives you the edge, so you are more likely to spot unusual changes, and be able to get them checked out.
“It is important to act early in the fight against cancer. That means not being embarrassed to talk about your body. Spotting cancer in its early stages means it is usually much more vulnerable to today’s modern treatments.”
Visit www.spotcancersooner.com for more information or call a Cancer Research UK nurse on 0808 8004040.