It's easy to dismiss mysterious bumps or mild pain as harmless annoyances. But sometimes these small discomforts are signs of something bigger as evidenced in a recent Reddit thread.
One user asks middle-aged men about health issues they shouldn't have ignored when they were younger. One man recounts how casually mentioning testicular sensitivity led to his cancer diagnosis.
"A sensitive left testicle which seemed slightly higher than the other one. Casually brought it up to the doctor when I was there to get a wart removed on my finger. The doctor handled my testicle. The doctor invited a student to handle my testicle. The student invited another student to handle my testicle. They sent me to get an ultrasound and she handled my testicle. A urologist handled my testicles. After much testicle handling, I found out I had testicular cancer. They took said testicle. 9 months later, cancer came back and I got chemotherapy. I’m 3 months cancer fee, but moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid to let people handle your testicles if something doesn’t seem right," explained one Reddit user.
Another man explains how he ignored a lump in his testicle for three years before finally seeing a doctor. He too was also diagnosed with cancer.
"Same story for me. Found a lump on my right testicle when I was 24. Promptly ignored to for a while. Wasn’t in a good place financially or insurance wise, and 24 year old me was able to rationalise it away," he writes. The Redditor finally visited the doctor after watching an episode of ER that linked a patient's back pain to a testicular lump. The poster had also had also experienced back problems.
"Saw my doctor later the same week, asked if, hypothetically, a lumpy testicle could have an impact on my back pain. Doctor handled my testicle and wanted to send me for surgery the next day. I wasn’t mentally prepared for that, but did have the entire right side removed a couple weeks later."
Doctors found eight softball sized tumours in the patient's chest cavity. One pressed into the man's kidney, which caused the back pain. After lots of chemo, the now 47-year old has been cancer-free for 20 years.
"Check yourself early and often, and don’t ignore it," he advises.
Another man incorrectly chalked up painful bowel movements to haemorrhoids.
"Butthole started hurting at age 24," he writes. "Figured it was just a stubborn haemorrhoid. Got worse over the course of a year. One day I took a shit and had to go lay down for 20 minutes to recover from the pain. Decided to immediately go to urgent care after. Diagnosis perianal Crohn’s disease. My friends always joke I’m an asshole but now I’m a rotten asshole."
Although it's easy to put off doctor's visits, these stories are a good reminder to get things checked out whenever something seems off.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health