A couple of years ago my wife took Ziggy for a check up at the vet. Ziggy is my dog, a cocker spaniel, and when the vet felt his testicles he said to my wife, "You should keep an eye on this. It's a bit odd." At which point my wife said "Christ, my husband's testicle feels a bit strange. One's feeling a lot harder." The vet told Ollie I should get tested immediately.
Four days later I'd been diagnosed with testicular cancer and was lying on the operating table with my doctor looking down at me saying "Don't worry Charley, it's just like shelling peas." Not particularly comforting! I think obviously when you're first diagnosed with cancer you definitely panic and that your mind races and thinks the worst but I was extremely lucky. In my dark moments I was reminded of my lovely sister, Tesche, who died at 34 from ovarian cancer. I thought, that's it, I'd had it.
I was lucky. Because it was caught early, we could get it fixed quickly. I had one testicle removed and replaced with a silicon prosthetic. I'm just lucky and proud that my wife knows my testicles so well! But you know, joking aside, it is very important that you get to know your testicles and they should both feel the same. If there are any anomalies you should absolutely 100% go straight to the doctor. They take it very seriously.
10-15 years ago you would probably have lost your life to testicular cancer and now you have a 98% success rate. Your testicles should be slightly moist and feel quite similar, if they aren't then you must get to a doctor - it's just not worth the alternative.
Like many men, I had never thought of testicular cancer and was lazy at getting check-ups. Now and then I'd get a throbbing ache, like after you've been kicked where it hurts. It wasn't really painful and I dismissed it as just one of those aches and pains you get, and ignored it.
But you mustn't, it's so important to check yourself and it's a great excuse for you to check your partner too! I check my wife twice a week, and she checks me... it's a great way to look out for your health and you know one thing can lead to another...!
Although we can have a great laugh growing our Mo's, we must all remember just how important it is to spread the word about testicular cancer. It's a terrifying thing for blokes, and something that can be caught early if you just keep checking yourself. We all need to spread the word! Around 2100 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK and what Movember is doing for men's health is just incredible, it's a fantastic cause and one that I feel extremely proud to be a part of.
If it wasn't for Ziggy and my wife things could have been very different. I've got the all-clear and Ziggy has too, now he's Britain's most spoiled dog!
Follow Charley Boorman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/charleyboorman