An 18-year-old boy found out he had testicular cancer in one of the most unusual ways possible – from a pregnancy test.
Shortly after finishing his exams, Bryan Geldard of Cambridgeshire, England began experiencing pain in his side. He visited his local doctor, and he was assured that it was just “muscle soreness” from too much exercising.
A return visit to the doctors in August, however, led to the discovery of a lump. After performing an ultrasound, Geldard’s doctors were able to determine that the lump was malignant and that his cancer had already spread to his lungs.
The only problem was that the doctors couldn’t figure out what type of cancer Geldard was actually dealing with. He told The Daily Telegraph:
“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.”
He was transferred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at a hospital in Cambridge, which requested that he provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test. In a bizarre twist, the test came back positive.
A spokeswoman for the Trust told the Telegraph that a pregnancy test can be used to diagnose, or rule out, testicular cancer, because the disease produces the same hCG hormone that is produced by a developing placenta:
“It is relatively unknown as patients don’t really talk about it, she said. 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 was ultimately diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer, which had spread to his abdomen and lungs. He went through several rounds of chemo, as well as surgery to remove the growth in his abdomen, the lymphatic system behind his stomach and a testicle.
In January, tests revealed that he was officially in remission:
“It was a really strange feeling to be told I was ok again – you’re just sort of expected to go back to the normal, but my mindset has completely changed, he said. Before all this happened you think your life is pretty much guaranteed until you’re about 85 but it gave me the realisation of my own mortality – I sort of had an early midlife crisis.”
He has since decided to focus his efforts to raising awareness about testicular cancer. “Cancer is no longer a death sentence and I would like to spread that message,” he told the Telegraph.
Geldard is an ambassador for the Trust, and is also in the process of writing a stand up comedy routine which he plans to perform at local schools to help educate students about the disease.
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