TreatmentSurgery (Orchiectomy), Chemotherapy
I felt a lump in my testicle while living in Chicago in 2017, randomly after feeling them. I wasn't "checking" for anything, but I noticed a very small part on the bottom of the testicle that seemed firmer and was abnormal. I honestly at the time thought it felt weird, but didn't think much of it, assuming it would go away. After a few weeks, it had not gone away and I hadn't noticed but it had been slowly growing. Eventually, I told a friend about it, and he encouraged me to get checked. I did not, as I was in the midst of a move to Portland, Oregon.
By May 2018, I was living in Portland and the firm lump on my right testicle had grown to what I would find out later was a 228 gram, 2.2 cm diameter tumor. Despite the friend continuously asking and encouraging me to get tested, I never did. Eventually, while driving to work one day I felt a sharp pain in my testicle, as if I was perpetually being stepped on my right testicle (very painful, unpleasant). The pain was so sharp I left work and went to urgent care, then the emergency room. After an ultrasound and a meeting with a doctor, a meeting with a urologist was scheduled for the next day. I had surgery that Friday to remove the large tumor.
Test results indicated three types of non-seminoma testicular cancer had developed (70% teratoma, 25% embryonal carcinoma, 5% yolk sac tumor), and following scans indicated that they had spread into at least one area in my central abdomen. 3 cycles of aggressive chemotherapy were then scheduled for the summer of 2018, culminating with what we thought would be the eradication of the cancer. Then, in September 2020, a check-up CT Scan had shown signs of an increased mass of tissue in the central abdomen. It was determined that the original teratoma likely had spread and remained, not being completely taken out by the chemotherapy. A robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery then followed, removing the suspected tumor all connected lymph nodes.
Since the original orchiectomy removed the initial tumor, chemotherapy removed any signs of living cancer, and the abdominal surgery removed any remaining tumors and any lymph nodes in which the cancer could have spread to, I'm now considered in full remission.