Young and male put AFL stars in prime risk group

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Royal Adelaide Hospital senior visiting urologist Peter Sutherland says given the AFL is made up of young men, the latest diagnosis makes statistical sense.

Melbourne Demons forward Jesse Hogan, 22, was also treated for the illness this year.

“Testicular cancer almost always presents in young men and is the most common form of cancer in men aged under 40,” he said.

It is vital men self-examine.

“If they notice a change in a testicle — it might be that it looks a little bigger, has a hardness to it, or is a bit more sensitive or painful — it’s important to report to a GP immediately,” he said.

“The first thing that will happen is the doctor will order an ultrasound and if there are any worries … the next step will be a blood test.”

Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray, pictured with Paddy Ryder, has been treated for testicular cancer. Picture: Sarah Reed

Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray, pictured with Paddy Ryder, has been treated for testicular cancer. Picture: Sarah ReedSource:News Corp Australia

Like other cancers, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better.

There are 12 types of testicular cancer and treatment involves removing the affected testicle before investigating through scans and blood tests to see if the cancer has spread elsewhere.

Some opt for prosthesis testicle implants.

“Taking the testicle out is fairly minor surgery with a one to two-week recovery,” Dr Sutherland said.

“These days it is common to follow up with a short course of chemotherapy, resulting in a high chance of a cure. ”

Still, Dr Sutherland concedes a diagnosis is never easy.

“When you are a male and under 40, you feel immortal and you’re suddenly told you have a potentially life-threatening illness,” he said.

It is rare for a man to get cancer in both testicles.

“The good Lord gives us two balls … removing one testicle has no impact on a man’s fertility, testosterone or manliness … (he) should be able to carry on as normal,” he said.

“The big message is, testicular cancer does occur in young men but all males should be on the lookout for any changes in the scrotum.”

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