Men urged to book health checks
Albany resident Steven Finch is encouraging men to check their bodies after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2014.
Mr Finch is a spokesman for Men’s Health Week, raising awareness of diseases and illnesses in men and the importance of catching them early.
The 31-year-old artist said the signs of his cancer were discovered by his partner.
“My partner had noticed something was unusual and implored me to see a doctor for weeks,” he said. “Men should definitely get checked regularly, both for themselves and for their friends and loved ones.”
Mr Finch said getting diagnosed with cancer in his mid-20s was a shock.
“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in my mid-late 20s and because I had waited to see a doctor, I immediately had to have surgery to remove the tumour, and did not have adequate health insurance,” he said.
“It was a tremendous shock, particularly as I was a low-income earner, to go from thinking you're OK to having major surgery within the space of a day.
“One thing that got me through is after posting publicly about having cancer, a lot of people reached out to me with support.”
Mr Finch, now in remission after surgery and chemotherapy, said men were particularly resistant to the idea that they were vulnerable to disease, and often attempted to soldier on through emotional and physical pain.
“I think men should talk to each other more and listen to people who care about them and I think the importance of Men’s Health Week is not just for individual men to pay more attention to their health, but for the importance of a healthier culture of men, too,” he said.
“Men need to communicate better with others about their needs and (be) more aware of their physical/mental health rather than assuming things are fine because you want them to be.”
Testicular cancer is not a common cancer, but it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, after skin cancer, in men aged 18-39.
About 800 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in Australia each year, accounting for about 1 per cent of all cancers in men.
It is most common in men aged 25-40.
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