Owen Bannister

Testicular cancer

Owen Bannister's wedding pictureWhen and where did you first notice signs of your cancer? Was there something out of the ordinary that prompted you to check yourself / see your GP?

I noticed a small lump on one testicle. I was checking myself in the bath at the time. I went straight to my GP who thought it was a vein. The lump grew considerably so it was surrounding nearly half of my testicle so I went back. He then sent me straight to the hospital.

Did you check yourself regularly or were you aware of the signs and symptoms of male cancer before you were diagnosed? 

Yes I did check myself regularly. I didn’t know what I was looking for, just any lumps out of the ordinary.

How did you feel when you were first diagnosed? Did your feelings change during your treatment? 

I was scared to death. I thought I was going to be a freak and never get a girlfriend. I decided to take one step at a time and not look too far ahead. This helped me to not worry about future events that were not within my control. Please give us a brief explanation of your treatment

Luckily we caught the cancer soon enough that I didn’t need chemo. I had 5 years of blood tests, chest x-rays and CT scans.

Was there a particularly difficult or distressing part of your treatment or your cancer journey?

I was more worried about the effect it was having on my parents than myself. The first day at the hospital was actually the hardest. The not knowing, the barrage of tests and the fact I was there alone as I hadn’t told anyone.

What is the most important thing your family and friends did to support you?

Simply knowing they were there when I needed them.

Can you describe any particular high or low points during your treatment?

The particular high point was the attitude of the nurses at Ipswich Hospital. They were always so cheerful and great at raising your spirit. It never made all the check-ups seem like a chore.

Do you believe the experience has changed you as a person? If so, in what way?

No I don’t. I think it may well of helped make me who I am. But at the time I was so young I don’t think I knew exactly who I was anyway.

What medical or emotional support would you like to be offered in the future to support you after your treatment ends?

I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Owen Bannister and his familyWhat would be your message to other men affected by male cancer? What would be your message to their partners?

One thing I think men would worry about is feeling like less of a man. I would tell them that I feel no different in any way, except for the fact that I have a nice scar!

Any further comments?

One high point was the day I was told I didn’t have to go back for any further blood tests or x-rays, it felt great.

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