Man from Llansoy, Usk is the Wales face of Stand up to Cancer campaign
9:43am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
TWELVE months ago, at the age of 24, Chris Scoffin was facing up to the possibility that he may have testicular cancer.
Weeks later his worst fears were confirmed and he underwent surgery to remove a testicle, followed by a short course of chemotherapy.
Now Mr Scoffin, an IT manager who lives in Llansoy, near Usk, has become the face in Wales of this year’s Cancer Research UK/Channel Four Stand Up To Cancer campaign.
And he hopes that by telling his story, he can encourage more men to check themselves for tell-tale signs of the disease – and seek help.
Aware of testicular cancer through a previous campaign, Mr Scoffin checked himself in summer 2012, and found nothing unusual.
But just a few weeks later, toward the end of August, he experienced pain in a testicle and a couple of days later when it had not gone away, he checked himself and found a lump.
“It wasn’t there when I’d checked previously, so I knew I had a problem,” he said. “I think I knew straight away that it was cancer, but I tried to convince myself otherwise.”
He was also sent for an ultrasound scan and that revealed a mass on the testicle.
“I cried once, and then knew I had to stay positive and fight the disease,” said Mr Scoffin. “I had a really good urologist who talked me through the stages and how I would need surgery to remove the testicle. Between the beginning of August and when it was removed, the tumour had grown from nothing to being about 36 millimetres deep.
“The fact that it grew so quickly, and being where it was, and with me checking myself meant I spotted it, but it took a while to get diagnosed and I could easily have not gone back to my GP and just hoped it would go away. Within six weeks of surgery I was back at work. I didn’t see myself sitting at home and dwelling on what had happened.”
Mr Scoffin, who is a qualified pilot, is encouraging men to self-check and if they find anything they are worried about, to get it checked.
“Self-checking and acting on any worries could be a lifesaver,” he said.
* THE Stand Up To Cancer campaign, which raised £8 million UK-wide last year, encourages people to stand up for a day to raise awareness of cancer. Details can be found at standuptocancer.org.uk
Testicular cancer is most common between age 15 and 49. Survival rates are good provided the disease caught early, with more than 96 per cent of those diagnosed alive after 10 years. For more information see cancerresearchuk.org
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