A survivor of testicular cancer shares his story, tells signs of the disease

Posted at 6:54 AM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 06:54:57-05

(WXYZ) — The month of November is also known as Movember or 'No Shave November.'

Men grow their facial hair for 30 days to help start a conversation and raise awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 10,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year and over 400 young men will die.

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15-34 even with it being such a rare disease.

Mike Albert is a survivor of testicular cancer. He says he was just 27 years old when he noticed a lump in one of his testicles.

"I kind of ignored it for as long as possible. That's kind of an uncomfortable place to get checked. I ignored it until maybe November. Actually, it was November 11 of last year that I was diagnosed."

By then, the lump had been present since August. He said it grew so large in size that going to see someone about it become unavoidable.

Michael was diagnosed with stage 2b testicular cancer. There are 3 different stages.

The first step was to remove the cancerous testicle.

"I actually had that surgery a week after I was diagnosed. Then from there, we did some CT scans that showed the cancer had actually spread into a couple of lymph nodes in my abdomen and that basically meant because it had spread, I needed to go through chemotherapy," he said.

Michael went through chemotherapy for 12 weeks. His doctor is doctor Amit Patel, a urologist at Henry Ford in Detroit.

"The earlier you pick it up the less likely you're going to need more aggressive treatment and the cure rates from testicular cancer are extremely high over 90 percent," Dr. Patel said.

Testicular cancer warning signs according to the American Cancer Society:

  • Painless lump or swelling in your testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in your testicle or scrotum
  • Dull ache in your lower abdomen or groin
  • Sudden build-up of fluid in your scrotum

Dr. Patel says you should check yourself frequently.

"Generally we recommend doing this at least once a month and as you do it more often, you get more familiar with your testicles and what's abnormal and what's normal," the doctor said.

After 12 weeks of chemo treatment and a cancer-free diagnosis, Michael got the chance to ring that bell.