Vancouver cancer survivor highlights importance of early detection this Movember

Wednesday marks the midway point of Movember, the yearly moustache-growing fundraiser for prostate cancer and men’s health. As part of its mandate, Movember also looks to educate people on the importance of early detection.

Chris Ho of Vancouver is a survivor of testicular cancer.  He also lost his father to lung cancer in 2018.

Ho says it’s important for men to know their bodies — and not to be afraid to ask for help when something is wrong.

“You not checking out your health is not just a detriment to yourself. You have to think about everyone else in your life: your partners, your friends, your family,” he said. “If you’re not going to do it for yourself, you have got to do it for them. An extra day that you’re on this planet means a lot for those around you.”

Ho knows first-hand the importance of early detection.

“For me it was, luckily, just having a routine shower and feeling a strange little lump in one of my testicles. Early detection is as simple as just feeling yourself up, making sure you know your body. It’s helped me and has resulted in me being here today,” he explained.

Testicular cancer is the most common form of the disease for men between the ages of 18 and 35. It’s recommended males begin self-checking for the disease as early as age 15. As the father of two sons, Ho says it’s a message he will be passing on to them.

“I have two boys, six and two, and, of course, with what I went through, I’m going to be having these conversations really, really early,” he said. 

“Whether it’s testicular cancer or anything else for your health, you have to know your body, otherwise you’re not going to know when something’s off.  And by the time you do, it could be too late.”

According to an Ipsos-Reid survey done for Movember, 75 per cent of Canadian men don’t know when they should start self-checking for testicular cancer, while 62 per cent don’t know how. 

Movember’s Nuts and Bolts provides resources on testicular cancer, including the signs and symptoms, information on different kinds of therapies, and mental health and body image support.

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