Twice diagnosed with testicular cancer, life moves on for Kansas City man

Dan Weinbaum
April 23, 2018 - 6:34 am
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Doctors want young men to know that a diagnosis of testicular cancer or the loss of a testicle does not make them less male. 

Chris Roush should know. He had to have both is testicles removed because of cancer as a young man. He was only 18 the first time he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"The first time around it was pretty obvious," Roush said. "I was in a lot of pain, a lot of swelling."

The second diagnosis came a few years later.

"The second time around it was detected very early," Roush said. "I had gone to see the doctor for lower back pain."

It was really difficult dealing with the loss of both testicles at the young age of 24.

"A lot to process, especially for a kid who just graduated college," Roush remembers.

Before the second procedure Roush banked sperm with the thought of possibly fathering children in the future.

"On top of that you have to deal with hormone replacement therapy, because you don't produce your own after you lose your second," said Roush, now 32.

Looking back, life was tough for Roush in his 20s. He suffered from depression and he just wanted to be alone. He thought his problem was too difficult to explain, but life is better now.

"For a long time I stayed single and I kind of liked it that way," Roush said. "It's hard to open up about that with a potential partner."

Roush's attitude changed over time. He lost weight and he takes better care of himself.

"I'm happily dating now, we've been together about 4 months," said Roush, looking ahead. 

Being diagnosed with testicular cancer is not the end of the world, Roush said. He encourages all men to check themselves on a regular basis.

"(Testicular cancer is) easy to detect in most cases," Roush said. "It's something you can feel and that you can catch early; I think it's why I was lucky, something I didn't ignore."

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