“Coping with Cancer”: Testicular Cancer

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It’s officially “Movember” or “No Shave November”. According to the American Cancer Society, one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

Nearly a quarter of men are less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, resulting in poor health due to lack of awareness and understanding of their health.

We talk with a local Firefighter, a Testicular Cancer Survivor, who talks about his life-changing journey coping with cancer.

“When they tell you the news, it’s like the train runs over you,” Cancer survivor, Cole Bosworth, said.

At 27 years old, Cole Bosworth was married to his high school sweetheart, raising toddlers, a firefighter of only a month, and diagnosed with Testicular Cancer.

“I had no idea what, at that point, what my life held after that moment,” Bosworth said.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15 to 35 years. Each year, over 8,800 new cases are diagnosed.

“When you hear cancer your mind automatically goes to death,” Bosworth’s Wife, Amber, said.

Bosworth was taken into surgery, then in remission. A rush all in a week’s time.

“It’s not something you think about, something that ever crosses your mind until you’re faced with a situation of having the signs and symptoms and then possibly the diagnosis,”Bosworth said.

Bosworth’s diagnosis was a reality check for fellow Firefighters, triggering his new family to get checked, leading to early detection.

“There’s nothing in this world shameful about going to the doctor and getting checked out” Bosworth said.

“If it’s going to save somebody’s family, it’s worth the uncomfortable conversations that you have to have,” Amber Bosworth said.

According to the Movember Foundation, the global campaign for men’s health awareness, more than 4 million men in over a dozen countries participate in “Movember” or “No Shave November”. Why? Because it’s a conversation starter.
 
Movember brings a challenge for all men to grow a beard or mustache bringing awareness to prostate and testicular cancer, the second most leading cause of death in men.

Shannon Medical Center’s, Doctor Elisa Brantly, is the only female Urologist in the Concho Valley. Prostate Cancer took her grandfather’s life, and her cousin is a Testicular Cancer Survivor. She says, they sparked her passion in men’s health.

“Testicular Cancer is one of the real success stories in cancer. We have a 95% five-year survival rate in all testes cancer. The American Urological Association does recommend that all young men do self testicular exams, once a month,” Brantly said.

Brantly says, it’s been more than three years since Bosworth’s diagnosis. His survival rate has increased to 99%.

“I think that when you have a support system, you actually physically recover better. I’ve seen it time and time again,” Brantly said.

“As long as I have my family and we’re all healthy, it doesn’t matter,” Bosworth said.

Women can participate in “Movember” as well, but not by growing facial hair. They can push the men in their lives to grow out a mustache or beard, motivate them to be active in their health, and by donating to the American Cancer Society or the Movember Foundation.

The foundation has raised $559 million (M) for funding of over 800 men’s health programs around the world.

Join us next week, on KSAN, as we continue our “Coping with Cancer” series.

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