New testicular cancer tests welcomed

A SUFFOLK man who lost his 31-year-old brother to testicular cancer today welcomed news of a breakthrough in the detection of the disease.Mark Elmy, 33, said anything that could prevent similar tragedies in the future would be a positive step.

A SUFFOLK man who lost his 31-year-old brother to testicular cancer today welcomed news of a breakthrough in the detection of the disease.

Mark Elmy, 33, said anything that could prevent similar tragedies in the future would be a positive step.

His brother Matt, who was brought up in Coopers Close, Witnesham, died after doctors failed to discover his condition for a month.

But now researchers in Copenhagen have found the disease could be diagnosed early by testing semen samples.


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At the moment there is no screening programme for testicular cancer, but it is hoped the findings will lead to the development of a simple screening test for men at risk.

Mr Elmy, of Henniker Road, Debenham, said: "This sounds absolutely brilliant and it would help everybody.

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"We were told the recovery rate is very high if caught early enough so this is good news.

"The more they can do to check people, the more people will survive the disease."

Matt went to his doctor as soon as he realised something was wrong, but was told it was probably an infection.

After continuing to feel discomfort, he made a number of visits to a hospital in London, refusing to leave until he was treated on the last occasion. Prior to that, he had been given pain killers and antibiotics.

When he was finally diagnosed in September 2002 the disease had spread to his brain, lungs, liver and lymph system.

Despite looking like he may beat the disease right up until days before his death, his brave fight came to end on February 19.

His family is now planning to raise money for the Orchid Cancer Appeal in tribute to Matt.

Testicular cancer affects some 2,000 men in the UK each year and rates have more than doubled since the mid-1970s.

Chris Garlick, Macmillan urology/oncology nurse specialist at Ipswich Hospital, said it is important to visit a doctor with any concerns.

Mr Garlick said: "The advice to men is to get to know your testicles so you notice any changes.

"Most blokes spend time with their hands down their pants.

"They might as well do something while they're there."

Common symptoms are swelling or a small lump on the side of the testicles.

Have you fallen victim to testicular cancer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK

www.orchid-cancer.org.uk

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