IN THEIR WORDS

Asa Floyd

Testicular Cancer At 16

It was break time between my high school football and basketball season, but I was staying active and going to the gym a lot.

I noticed I was more fatigued than usual, which was weird because I am used to participating in athletics throughout the year. I also noticed a lump, which at first I dismissed as a football injury. I assumed I had gotten hit and it would go away on its own like my other previous injuries.

15-40 Connection had come to my school and done a presentation a few months earlier, so I knew that I should be keeping an eye on health changes, especially ones that lasted more than two weeks.

When I checked on the lump again a few weeks later, it wasn’t getting better. In fact, I thought it had gotten bigger. That’s when I brought it to the attention of my parents, and we knew we had to get it checked out.

Even though it was the busy holiday season, the education I had learned about early detection was running through my head, and we wanted to act quickly to figure out what the lump was.

A few days after Christmas we got an appointment with my primary care doctor. I have a good relationship with him and he is easy to talk to, so it wasn’t hard to tell him about the lump. He examined me, and suggested I see a urologist to take a look at the lump.

I was nervous, but still thought it could just be fluid or something easy to take care of. After an exam from the urologist, we were sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. We met with the urologist again later that same day to go over the results. I was shocked when he said it was testicular cancer.

It was still in the early stages, so he wanted to get it taken care of right away. That was a Thursday. I was scheduled for surgery the following Tuesday to remove the tumor.

We caught the cancer early enough that it could be removed with surgery – I didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation. I’m still monitored with weekly blood tests to make sure everything looks good, but soon I will be able to cut back on those.

I am glad I knew how to detect cancer early – when 15-40 came to my school I learned how to notice health changes, keep track of them for two weeks, and talk to my doctor to figure out what is going on.

I encourage people to get small changes checked out if they last for two weeks. Don’t let fear stop you from getting a diagnosis. If it does turn out to be something, get good doctors and they will help you with it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

"Don’t let fear stop you from getting a diagnosis. ... It's better to be safe than sorry."

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