Man with rare penis cancer worries this Christmas will be his last
| Last updated
A 45-year-old man fears this could be his last Christmas with his children after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of penis cancer.
However, Gavin Brooks, isn’t prepared to go without a fight and is now doing everything he can to raise as much awareness of the disease.
The father-of-two from Crewe first realised something wasn’t quite right in July 2021 when his foreskin had become swollen.
As it became more and more painful, Gavin, who was serving in the army at the time, went to his GP.
There he was told that he probably had thrush and that the swelling would sort itself out, but when it didn’t, he sought a second opinion at a sexual health clinic.
Devastatingly it wasn’t until three misdiagnoses that he was referred to a urologist five months later where he was given the news he was dreading.
He had stage two penile cancer.
“Getting told at 44 that you have stage two penile cancer was a huge shock and I’ve seen some shocking things in my 24 years of service in the army,” Gavin told Manchester Evening News. “However, nothing can compare to having to tell your children that I’ve got the biggest fight yet ahead of me.”
As his cancer was so aggressive, Gavin had to undertake a partial penectomy in January, meaning he had the end of his penis removed.
He then needed further surgery in April to remove lymph nodes in his groin, followed by chemotherapy in June.
While he’s currently continuing to receive treatment at The Christie in Manchester, his first round of chemo was unsuccessful and he may have just months left to live, which is devastating to the dad to Camren 15, and Jorje, 10.
Gavin said: “Since my initial partial penectomy the cancer has spread to other parts of my body, so I’m now on my second chemotherapy treatment with radiotherapy included too.
“This cancer doesn’t look like it’s going without a fight, so I’m prepared to fight with everything I’ve got, so I can see my children grow up and witness my son lift the World Cup one day!”
He’s now also seeking other treatments not offered on the NHS such as Immunotherapy, Proton Beam therapy and Dendritic cell treatment, which may alleviate some of his symptoms and give him some additional years.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, penile cancer is rare, and a person’s risk depends on factors such as age and genetics.
However, it is important to be aware of the signs. Symptoms will typically start at the top of the penis as raised patches or white spots. During this stage, surgery can remove the cancerous tissue, however the longer it is left the more invasive surgery will become.
Gavin is now doing what he can to raise awareness and funds for charity through his #CheckYourCockerel campaign.
Visit his website screaming cockerel to find out more.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Gavin Brooks
Topics: Health, Christmas, UK News