Testicular lump led to kidney diagnosis

Father-of-two Martin Gammon knew nothing about urology until he discovered a lump on one of his testicles just before Christmas.

Martin, 60, was worried his discovery would spoil Christmas for the family and kept the finding to himself for a number of weeks.“I did the usual bloke thing and didn’t say anything, not even to my partner, Annabel. I didn’t want to spoil Christmas or the holiday we had booked straight after,” he said.

Weeks passed before Martin went to see his GP.

“The doctor told me it was almost certainly benign because men of my age rarely get testicular cancer. But he asked me general questions about my urinary functions and agreed to send me for an ultrasound on my testicle and for some tests to check my general urological health.”

Tests proved the lump was indeed benign. But any relief Martin felt was short-lived, as a CT scan revealed a tumour on Martin’s left kidney, measuring 9cm by 7cm. His kidney needed to be removed.

“It was the shock of my life,” says Martin. “I hadn’t felt unwell at all and had no symptoms. In an instant, my life was being turned upside down. Suddenly we were fearing the worst because we were told the tumour was cancerous. For me it was all a bit of a blur, but Annabel, who has MS, was terribly upset and I feared that the worry would affect her.”

Last April Martin travelled to East Surrey Hospital where he met urologist and TUF supporter Abhay Rane, who performed keyhole surgery to completely remove Martin’s kidney. The surgery was successful, and Martin was given the news that his cancer had not spread and further treatment was not necessary.

“I had complete confidence and faith in Abhay – as soon as I met him I felt I was in good hands.”

“Instead of feeling scared I now felt blessed. Yes, I’d had cancer, but I’d got it in an organ that could be removed.

If I’d gone to another GP I’m not sure the tumour would have been discovered as it’s not automatic policy to carry out the wider ultrasound checks. Someone else with the same symptoms could easily have had their cancer missed. I had a doctor who went above and beyond and who seemed to have a ‘sixth sense,’ said Martin.

“I feel deeply indebted to him and to Abhay too. I was very lucky to be treated by someone who is a leader in their field. It was also lucky I had semi-retired two months prior to finding the lump on my testicle because, if I had still been working, I would never have had the time to go to the doctor.

“I come from a generation of stiff upper lip and never stopped to listen to my body. Now this has happened, I do – it’s really important to. I would encourage other men to go straight to the doctor if they have any symptoms and not to delay like I did.
Get checked. Your health is more important than your work.”

Abhay Rane told Martin about The Urology Foundation and the work we do. Earlier this year, Martin organised a fundraising golf day for us, raising £2,000.

“Abhay told me he had taken part in many of TUF’s fundraising cycling challenges and I was inspired by him to fundraise too, but I wasn’t sure I could manage the cycle event so soon after my operation as it took me a while to recover.

My 60th birthday was coming up so I decided to hold a golf day instead. It was a lot of fun but I was also able to spread the word about TUF, raise some money and, in a light-hearted way, stress the importance of getting yourself checked.”

If you have been inspired to hold your own fundraising event, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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