Councillor recovering from testicular cancer urges older men to check themselves
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
A Blaenau Gwent councillor who is recovering from cancer is urging older men to examine their testicles regularly.
Cllr Haydn Trollope, the chairman of Blaenau Gwent’s County Borough Council’s Education and Learning committee, has been reflecting on what he has dubbed “the worst year of my life.”
Cllr Trollope said that at the end of 2020 he was examining himself in the shower and found that one testicle was larger than the other.
He said: “My wife is a nurse and when she saw it, she knew we had a problem and said I had to phone the doctor, which I did the first day I could in the New Year.
“Even with Covid-19 I was seen within days, the doctor referred me to have a scan, at Nevill Hall hospital which I had early February.”
Within days he received a call to go to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, where Cllr Trollope was shown the results of the scan.
Cllr Trollope said: “Even to me it was obvious that there was a problem.
“The doctor explained everything to me and answered all my questions and we agreed removal was the best option.
“I had to wait 14 days to self-isolate I was admitted the end of February and was operated on, and I left the hospital the next day.
“In March I had an appointment in Velindre Cancer Centre where I was told that I would have another scan and went through the possibilities, including that the cancer could spread into my abdomen.
“The scan showed that the cancer had spread, the good news was it was exactly where the doctor said it would be and it was easily treatable.”
In April and May, Cllr Trollope received radiotherapy treatment on the tumour. Following a series of blood test a couple of months later he was told the cancer had shrunk to the point it couldn’t be measured.
He will still need regular check-ups every four months.
Cllr Trollope said: “So here I am in December looking forward to the New Year all thanks to our wonderful NHS.
“From the start the medical staff were honest open and put my mind at ease every step of the way,
“This has given me a new perspective, and when people moan about their life, please think of the youngsters in Velindre.”
Cllr Trollope added that one of the reasons he has gone public about his illness and treatment to highlight the need for people to continue to check your bodies for changes – whatever your age.
“I’m 65-year-old and testicular cancer usually affects younger men this shows everyone needs to check their body, checking definitely saved my life. “said Cllr Trollope.
Although its relatively uncommon overall, testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect men between the ages of 15 and 49. In the UK around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year.
Testicular cancer is unusual compared with other cancers because it tends to affect younger men.
If you notice a swelling, lump, or any other change in one of your testicles contact your GP.