Meet Matt Wakefield, a 38-year-old barista from England and a two-time testicular cancer survivor.
At the young age of 20, Matt discovered a lump by chance. He says, “My knowledge of it was zero and I was embarrassed to come forward about it.” So after nine months of ignoring it, what started as the size of a finger nail grew to the size of his index and middle fingers put together. After seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with a stage one seminoma, for which he had to undergo an orchidectomy and radiotherapy.
Unfortunately, his testicular cancer journey didn’t end there.
Fourteen years later, at the age of 34, Matt found another lump on his remaining testicle during a routine, weekly examination. He discovered the lump on a Friday night and was in the doctor’s office first thing Monday morning. The urologist said it was the smallest lump he has ever found. Just like the first, it was diagnosed as a stage one seminoma. He had an orchidectomy, radiotherapy and one round of chemotherapy (carboplatin).
As a result of his testicular cancer treatments, Matt is now dependent on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for his body’s testosterone, which is in the form of an injection (Nebido) every ten weeks.
His advice to other men is, “You have zero control over what life throws at you, but you have every control over your attitude towards it. Don’t let a moment of embarrassment cost you a lifetime.”
Matt’s story highlights the importance of not only self-check, but of speaking up. There can be a stigma attached to talking about testicular cancer — and there shouldn’t be. That’s why it’s so important to spread awareness, educate and get the conversation going. Matt, thank you so much for sharing your story. Follow Matt on Instagram at @insta_flatbagger or Twitter at @xmas_flatbagger.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or DM us. For resources on testicular cancer, please visit: cacti.org/resources/.