(NAPSI)—Young men and those who care about them should consider the story of Max Mallory. At 22 he graduated from college and started his dream job in the video game industry. He landed the job before graduation at the company where he had interned for almost a year. Set up in his own apartment, he started to live his life on his own and navigate the nuances of that first professional job.
Life was fine until mid-October, when Max experienced what seemed like stomach troubles and minor back pain. After two visits to urgent care centers where doctors prescribed antibiotics, he came home to stay with his dad and visit a urologist. He never made it to that medical appointment. Doubled over with sudden pain the next afternoon, he called 911. Late that evening in the emergency room, he heard the worrisome diagnosis: late-stage testicular cancer.
His cancer journey lasted only seven hard-fought months. He had an aggressive testicular cancer, choriocarcinoma. He passed away three days after he received the first round of stem cells.
He couldn’t have prevented his testicular cancer with self-exams, since he “was born with” one testicle that was healthy.
Be Aware of the Other Cause
Mallory was born with one undescended testicle, known in medical terms as cryptorchidism and identified as the most common genital problem pediatricians encounter (Medscape). He had exploratory surgery at age one. He and his parents were told he was born with one testicle, that the undescended testicle they were looking for wasn’t there. Over the years, no one questioned this situation—though he regularly saw pediatricians.
His cancer did not appear as a lump or tumor on his testicle. The malignant mass rested in his lower abdomen. The acute back pain became the catalyst for action. Unknown to him, his “missing” testicle existed after all and developed into the cancerous tissue. By the time he made it to the E.D., it had already spread to other parts of his body.
What Can Be Done?
For boys and men with two testicles, self-exam is key. Some schools, coaches and informed doctors have told these young men how to go about it. There are many sources online for the information; for example, the Mayo Clinic is a good place to check.
For those who have had an undescended testicle, it’s important to find out what was done about it. If it was surgically put in place (usually done in infancy), there is still a slightly higher risk of testicular cancer. Your doctor should know about this.
The Max Mallory Foundation was founded in 2017 and provides awareness of testicular cancer not identified “with a lump” and self-exam. It also assists young adults with cancer, an underserved group and works in association with other testicular cancer organizations. The Foundation is a 501c(3) organization. Mallory’s full story is on the website, https://maxmalloryfoundation.com.