My Testicular Cancer Has Spread
This video was made the day I found out that my testicular cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, back in November 2016. I knew I would need chemo.
There are over 9,000 new cases of testicular cancer every year, averaging one new diagnosis every hour of every day. One in 250 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer at some point in their life, with 50% of these cases occurring in men ages 15-35. About 6% of cases occur in children and teens, and about 8% occur in men over the age of 55.
90% of the time, testicular cancer presents as a lump in the testicle. A lump in the testicle can be detected early through regular self-exams. Best done during or after a shower when the scrotum is relaxed, place your index and middle fingers under the testicle with your thumb on top. Firmly but gently, roll each testicle between your fingers. Any weird lumps or bumps should be checked out by a doctor ASAP.
According to a 2018 study done by CACTI, more than 1 in 3 of all men polled have never been told about the importance of a monthly testicular self- exam. Nearly half of those surveyed do not perform testicular self-exams. 42% of men don’t even know how to perform one, according to the Testicular Cancer Society.
Despite all of these facts and figures, testicular cancer is not talked about enough in society. My hopes are that sharing my story from beginning to end with an open attitude will stimulate more open discussion and bring a larger focus to men’s health in general. Knowing someone who is going through testicular cancer can help make it more real to men who might not otherwise be concerned about their own health. I put my face where their balls are (which is a somewhat awkward turn of phrase).
The title, A Ballsy Sense of Tumor, is purposefully chosen to convey this mission is all about testicular cancer and that I talk about it in as positively and with as much humor as you can use when discussing cancer. While cancer is no laughing matter, my method is to approach it with humor, awareness, and positivity.
A Ballsy Sense of Tumor was founded by Justin Birckbichler, a men’s health activist, testicular cancer survivor, and fourth grade teacher. From being diagnosed in November 2016 at the age of 25, to finishing chemo in January 2017, to being cleared in remission in March, he has been passionate about sharing his story to spread awareness and promote open conversation about men’s health. Carpe Scrotiem!
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