Cameron Green, from Somerset West, who has been battling testicular cancer since the age of 32, is one such man.
Green’s 10-year journey with testicular cancer began with a feeling that something was “just not right”.
There was no specific pain, and nothing that he could identify as being a problem, but his wife couldn't conceive for five years so they thought a good place to start would be with a urologist.
The result was a diagnosis of an early stage cancerous growth in his left testicle, and a trip to surgery the same day for an orchidectomy (surgical removal of one or both testicles). And that should have been the end of it. Shortly after the orchidectomy, his wife fell pregnant and gave birth to a son, Braeden.
“But, I am living proof that you should always go for all the follow-up visits,” Green says as he recalls the shock of discovering 18 months later that the cancer had metastasised into his lungs, kidney and spine.
Facing extensive chemotherapy, the couple decided to visit a fertility clinic to ensure that they would have the option of expanding their family after the treatment was over.
“And I am so glad that we did, because six weeks after the chemo was over, my wife was pregnant with our second son, Ethan.”
Testicular cancer is receiving attention this month as November is celebrated as Men's Health Month.
One of the campaigns that receive prominence this month is Movember - an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues.
The Movember Foundation is working to help men live longer, happier, healthier lives. Through fundraising, the foundation has funded over 1200 game-changing programmes in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention around the world. Some of the celebrities that have been affected by testicular cancer include Jimmy Gomez ‘Taboo’ from The Black Eyed Peas, who was diagnosed at age 39.
Green says: “Men are always discouraged from listening to their hearts or being intuitive. But because I allowed myself to do that, I am here today and so are my sons. If I'd chosen to be macho, this story would have had a very different ending.”
He works as a senior leader for the Live strong Foundation and is determined to do what he can to ensure that more men are aware of their health.
“I am part of the very small percentage of people in our country who have access to excellent health care. That needs to change. We are working in partnership with traditional healers and doctors to do what we can to ensure that poverty and cancer does not need to equal a death sentence.”
Garron Gsell, chief executive and founder of the Men's Foundation said testicular cancer is most common in men under 40.
“When it comes to their health, too many men don't talk and don't take action. If you notice something isn't feeling right, don't put it off and hope it goes away. With early detection, there is a 95% chance of survival. There is a lot that needs to be done, but by talking about men's health, by encouraging our friends to take action for their health and supporting them, we can help keep the men we love around to live happier, healthier, longer lives,” Gsell said.