NFL Tackle Nate Solder Is Hoping to Spread Awareness About Testicular Cancer
New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder made a stunning revelation today when he told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that one year ago, at the age of 26, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Now he is hoping that by speaking up, he can help save a life.
Doctors were able to remove Solder’s testicle and he wasn’t required to undergo chemotherapy. He missed just a portion of workouts and was able to join the team in training camp. He went on to help the Patriots win the Super Bowl.
Could you or a loved one have Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer can develop in men of all ages, even teenagers. According to the American Cancer Society, almost half of all cases are in men between the ages of 20 and 34, so it impacts more young people than you would think.
A man’s lifetime chance of getting testicular cancer is about 1 in 263. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine and early detection, the risk of dying from it is now about 1 in 5,000. That doesn’t mean putting off an examination with your doctor.
Know the warning signs, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic:
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness in the chest area
- Back pain
Typically, a lump is the first sign of testicular cancer. Men are advised to perform routine at-home examinations, although it should not take the place of regular checkups. The American Cancer Society recommends a testicular exam by a doctor as part of a routine check-up.
To perform a self-exam:
- Hold your penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time
- Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
- Look and feel for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicles.
Note: As the sister-in-law of a testicular cancer survivor, I cannot thank Nate Solder enough for coming forward with his story. Josh was diagnosed young too, and like Solder, he was a healthy, athletic, vibrant young man. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone. If you notice any of the above symptoms, please, please, please see your doctor. Early detection and technological advances can save your life, and the life of a loved one. It saved Josh’s.
To learn more about testicular cancer, including information about diagnosis and support, visit the Testicular Cancer Society.