A Kenilworth father who was diagnosed with testicular cancer said watching a TV programme about the disease saved his life.
Mark Langan, 34, who now lives with his wife and three-year-old son, was watching last October’s Stand Up To Cancer telethon on Channel 4 when the programme mentioned one in two people would be diagnosed with cancer in their lives.
He said: "We were watching because we like 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Gogglebox and enjoyed the celeb version. But when we heard that cancer statistic we looked at each other and said ‘that could be one of us then!'"
Mark checked his testicles the very next morning and was concerned to find a lump. He immediately went to his doctor and was referred to a specialist who sent him for an ultrasound scan.
He added: “I was told that the lump needed to be tested which meant the removal of my testicle and a CT scan to see if it had spread. I had the surgery on November 9 which was less than two weeks after finding the lump. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything had happened."
Later that month Mark got his results. He had Stage 2 testicular cancer which had spread to a lymph node in his abdomen. He would need a nine-week course of chemotherapy.
“This was a huge shock to me and my wife and also to all my family and friends. Somehow though, we still managed to have a great family Christmas,” said Mark.
Mark’s treatment began on January 4, 2017. It consisted of three three-week blocks of intensive intravenous chemotherapy at the Arden Centre in Coventry.
He said: “I reacted badly to the chemo in the first week, resulting in two trips to A&E and a week in hospital. Thanks to the excellent doctors and nurses on the oncology ward in University hospital Coventry I was able to continue my treatment..
"Four weeks later found out I no longer had cancer. My last CT scan and blood tests in September showed the cancer was still gone. I can’t tell you how amazing that sounds, though obviously I will be having regular check-ups for many years to come.
“If it wasn’t for Stand Up To Cancer, things could be very different for me. Watching that programme probably saved my life. I can’t thank Stand Up To Cancer enough.”
Mark started back at work six weeks after his treatment finished. He says his experience has made him want to help raise awareness and encourage people to check themselves to aid early diagnosis.
Mark added: “I would urge people to get to know what is normal for their bodies and tell the doctor about any unusual or persistent changes. It definitely helped me catching it early before the cancer had spread too far."