After suffering back pain for too long, Ryan Collard went to Sunderland Royal Hospital last year, but instead of prescribing painkillers or treatment, he was told to get a better mattress.
Not only was his back in severe pain, but he was also blacking out and was very lethargic in the mornings. Doctors thought the issue could be neurological and they ordered a round of scans and tests.
It was only when the 23-year-old could literally feel something in his stomach that doctors had a look and found a tumour growing.
The teacher had to be rushed to hospital for emergency chemotherapy and he was officially diagnosed with testicular cancer.
His mum Lesley told the the Mirror: "Ryan's symptoms were there last summer, his body would go numb, he would collapse and be out cold for 10 minutes.
"He was like an old man. He could not get up in the morning. He went from being fit, doing martial arts, playing football, to not feeling well at all."
While he was in hospital, his twin brother Sean went to visit him and noticed he had a slight twinge in his groin area. He had a quick check of his testicles and noticed a bit of swelling in the area. Without a minute's hesitation, Sean took himself to get a scan and, heartbreakingly, learned that he too had testicular cancer.
"If it was not for Ryan, I would have just put off the check-ups and then I would have been in the same boat. You do not expect this in the prime of life," Sean told the Mirror.
Thankfully for Sean, his growth wasn't nearly as bad and he was booked in to have it surgically removed.
Ryan is still undergoing stem cell treatment at Hammersmith Hospital, but is nervous about his future prospects of starting a family. Because he was ordered to undergo chemotherapy so quickly, he didn't have time to build up a personal sperm bank.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust Medical Director Ian Martin says: "Mr Collard came into our Emergency Department with a history of back pain following exercise.
"He was thoroughly examined and underwent numerous tests, but showed no abnormal physical signs other than muscle tenderness."
Sean and Ryan are hoping their experiences will encourage other blokes to constantly check their testicles. Most guys their age wouldn't think it could happen to them but they're living proof that it can happen to any man.
Check. Your. Junk. Regularly.
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