April is testicular cancer awareness month. As Urologists we see a lot of testicular cancer, almost invariably in young and otherwise healthy men. It is always emotionally challenging to see cancer in young patients but thankfully most patients with testicular cancer present early when the disease is likely curable. It is heartbreaking when the chance for cure is missed because of a patients’ lack of awareness or reluctance to seek medical attention.
Testicular Cancer is one of the more common and yet least talked about cancers affecting young men. In Australia, since 1982, the incidence of testicular cancer has risen from about 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 15,000 males. Thankfully, only a very small number of men will die from this cancer (less than 3%). In other words, early detection is the key.
The DT38 Foundation was set up in the UK in 2015, in memory of Dylan Tombides. Dylan was a football player from Perth Western Australia, who at age 14 joined West Ham United in the English Premier League. He made his senior debut in 2012 wearing number 38. He died in 2014 at only 20 years of age after a 3 year battle with testicular cancer.
The foundation’s mission is to raise social awareness of testicular cancer and men’s health, provide educational programmes, and try to improve children’s understanding of their bodies so that early diagnosis can be achieved in all cases. Hence the motto “DIDGE”, Delay is Deadly, Get Educated.
Dr Shane La Bianca from Perth Urology Clinic is the Medical Ambassador for the DT38 Foundation. At a recent FFA charity match, featuring the Manchester United Legends vs the A-League Legends, he was interviewed live by Manchester United TV for British television.
Here is the interview: