A healthy 28-year-old gym goer may never be able to have children after a pain he thought was down to kidney stones turned out to be testicular cancer.
Kieran Snowden, who is from Outwood, Wakefield, is gearing up to start chemotherapy treatment after his shock diagnosis last week.
Doctors have told him he will need to have his left testicle removed and he has been offered the chance to use a sperm bank in case treatment renders him infertile.
Although Mr Snowden had felt a slight abnormality in of his testicles, he did not suspect it was anything sinister.
For months he left it untreated but after he felt a pain in his abdomen he was convinced by his girlfriend to go and get his symptoms checked out at A&E.
‘I ignored an abnormality’
Mr Snowden said: “Before the symptoms and for a six to eight-month period I noticed an abnormality in my left testicle in terms of how it felt but it was nothing to scare me into thinking there was a problem as there was no pain or anything like that.
“I left it untreated and didn’t think anything of it, partly because I look after myself – I go boxing, I go to the gym all the time and I don’t smoke so I just ignored it and put it to one side.
“I was aware of it but did nothing about it until one morning I woke up with a pain on my left side. I had to call in sick to work and I didn’t go to the doctor – I just kept a hot water bottle on the area where it hurt and took painkillers.
“I left it because I thought it would be fine but then I had a terrible night’s sleep and the pain had spread the next day to my kidneys so I was a bit more concerned.
“I still wasn’t going to go to the doctor but my girlfriend talked me into going so I went to A&E.”
Mr Snowden described his symptoms to medics with numerous tests carried out. Although he believed he might have had kidney stones, this was ruled out and after examining his testicles, doctors found a hard lump which was checked out in an ultrasound scan.
It was then revealed to Mr Snowden that he had stage three testicular cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes.
He is now due to start chemotherapy after what has been a “crazy week”. Mr Snowden says he is remaining positive in spite of his diagnosis and is desperate to raise awareness of the warning signs of testicular cancer to convince other men to seek help for any troubles playing on their minds.
‘I thought I was untouchable’
“The doctor who diagnosed me saved my life,” He said. “He gave me a full check and if it weren’t for that man at Pinderfields Hospital I don’t think I would have been in a good way had I left it any longer.
“I’m in my late 20s and you think you are untouchable but after something like this, you realise you’re not.
“I wish I hadn’t put it off and nipped it in the bud sooner and I would say to anyone even if you are 20 to 30 per cent worried, get it checked out.
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“It’s a silent killer because I’m not in pain. I would just urge anyone with worries to get it checked because the more it spreads, the more it goes around your body.”
Mr Snowden is due to start treatment any day now and since news of his diagnosis, his friends and family have rallied around him in support to raise money to help him while he is off work.
So far, more than £4,000 has been raised in just three days and you can donate to his cause here.