‘Love Island’ contestant Chris Hughes has urged male fans to check themselves for lumps after his brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer yesterday.
The 26-year-old has been campaigning for greater testicular cancer awareness for months – in November he won praise after undergoing a live examination on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ show.
It was that same programme that encouraged his sibling Ben Hughes to check himself – Chris said less than 24 hours after he’d appeared on TV, his brother found a lump.
Alongside pictures of the boys as children, Hughes wrote on Instagram: “Today he [Ben] sent me a message telling me the news, and thanking me for making him aware, else he’d never have known he had cancer. That literally broke my heart.”
[Read More: How To Check For Testicular Cancer Symptoms]
The family don’t know the prognosis of Ben’s cancer, but say they are praying for it to be “kind”.
The reality star first decided to publicly align himself with the testicular cancer campaign after his own health scare as a teenager, which left him requiring three operations on his left testicle.
He revealed during his ‘This Morning’ appearance that his cousin had testicular cancer and both of his brothers were infertile.
Despite the family history, Hughes admitted he didn’t get checked until he was 20, saying: “It doesn’t come with a lot of pain so it’s easy to ignore.”
“Everyone thinks they know their body,” he said. “There’s a right way to check them. I’ll be honest with you it’s not something you grab hold of in everyday life. You wash yourself but don’t necessarily use your fingers to identify.”
Cancer Research UK says 2,200 men in the UK are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year – the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men.
Despite this, a survey carried out by UK male cancer charity Orchid found 68% don’t know how to check themselves for signs of the condition, and 50% would shy away from showing their GP if they discovered a lump.
Advising men on how to check their testicles, the charity explained: “Get to know your balls. Every time you are in the bath or shower examine each testicle – that way you’ll spot any changes. Also, roll each testicle between your thumb and forefinger to check that the surface is free of lumps and bumps, don’t squeeze!”
Symptoms of testicular cancer:
A dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
A dull ache in your lower abdomen (stomach area)
A sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum (hydrocele)