A father is using his Christmas decorations to urge other men to check their testicles, after surviving testicular cancer.
Christian Roach, 41, has put up 750 lights outside his home, spelling out “Check yr nuts”.
The roofer was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January 2019 after experiencing unusual pain in his testicles throughout December.
The dad-of-three underwent chemotherapy and had one testicle removed but is now celebrating being cancer-free.
He now wants to take the opportunity to prevent others going through a similar ordeal.
“The message with the lights is massive and really important to me,” he said.
“I just said this as a joke at first. But [my partner] Nicola loved the idea and we ran with it.
“I knew very little about cancer and stuff before but it’s so important to catch it early.
“If you do there is a good chance it can be sorted. I know it’s not nice going to the doctors and pulling out your private parts but it has got to be done.”
Roach initially went to the doctor in October 2018, after noticing pain in his testicles while working.
He was sent home without treatment but his symptoms worsened over Christmas.
After returning to his GP in January, Roach was referred to Cardiff Hospital for urgent scans which revealed he had testicular cancer.
“I had cancer at Christmas last year but I had no idea,” Roach said.
“I knew something was wrong and couldn’t properly enjoy Christmas. I am normally very bubbly but my mates and the family said I seemed off.”
“I can’t explain what it felt like to be told I had cancer,” he added.
“I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. I have never experienced anything like that in my life. When I went home I could not look my kids in the eyes – my biggest worry was leaving them behind.”
An operation removed one of his testicles three weeks later and soon after, he was given the all clear.
“In the end the hospital was really good and I was sorted really quickly,” Roach said.
“It felt amazing to be given the all clear so quickly.
“It was a massive relief to get it sorted and I am so pleased I did they right thing to get it checked out.”
Roach said he’s had friends get in touch since the lights have gone up, asking for more advice or saying they have visited the doctors.
There are 2,400 cases of testicular cancer diagnosed every year in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.
However survival rates are good, with 98% of sufferers surviving for 10 or more years following diagnosis.
Symptoms include unusual lumps or swelling in testicles, which can range from the size of a pea to much larger.
Other signs of testicular cancer are scrotal pain and the scrotum itself feeling heavy.
Please visit Cancer Research UK for information on any of the issues raised in this article.