A YOUNG man suffering from testicular cancer has urged other men to be aware of changes to their bodies.
Ollie Feest found a lump in January. Despite his having three months all clear, the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and Ollie is currently receiving three cycles of chemotherapy.
The 20-year-old said: “I found a tender lump, and after visiting the doctor he sent me to Worthing Hospital for a scan.
“The results of the scan showed a lump, which was then removed and shown to be testicular cancer. After the operation, I had three months all clear, however, on the third month scan, the cancer was shown to have spread to my lymph nodes.”
Ollie, of Newland Road, has treatment at the Sussex Cancer Centre in Brighton. He has three cycles of three weeks’ worth of treatment.
“At times the treatment can be draining but I recover fast and I have still managed to keep up my underwater hockey.”
Ollie plays for Sussex Underwater Hockey (UWH) Club, based in Felpham. A group of 15 fellow members, together with Ollie’s twin brother brother Daniel, grand-dad and a friend, all agreed to have their heads shaved to raise money for The Sussex Cancer Fund, in aid of The Sussex Cancer Centre where Ollie receives treatment.
He said: “I lost my hair towards the end of the first cycle and now I shave my hair at the end of every cycle as it stops growing, as does my beard, I am on my last cycle now so, hopefully, it will start growing back.
“The idea of the head shave came from Dominic Mason of Sussex UWH Club when he looked at my identical twin brother with long hair and me with no hair at a training session.”
Hairdresser Anthony Michael shaved each person’s head at the fund-raising event at Homefield Park. Together, the group have raised about £1,000.
Former Worthing High school pupil Ollie has played underwater hockey for the past six years. He has played for Sussex, Southsea and has captained the Portsmouth University team, where he is a student, and vice-captained the Under-19s Great Britain team.
Ollie said: “I want to say thank you to the team, my friends, family and customers of Parklife Café in Worthing, which is my family’s business, for their support. Also, Dominic Mason, hairdresser Anthony Michael and everyone at Sussex UWH club.”
Ollie wants to raise awareness of testicular cancer in young men.
He said: “Of course, with cancer it is important to catch it as soon as possible for the highest cure rate. This cancer is most common in males between 19 and 35. Luckily, I caught it early and they removed it within the week of me finding it – I was just unfortunate it spread.
“Since being diagnosed, my friends have started checking and going to the doctors if they have been worried. The best thing to do is just check when having a bath or shower. I think the main problem is that males don’t know what to look for or expect what a lump will be like – if this is the case, they should go to the doctor’s.”