Phil was only 24 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which fortunately he spotted early. Twelve years on, thanks to the foresight of a cancer consultant who recommended sperm banking prior to chemotherapy, Phil is able to laugh and play with his 15-month-old son Noah.
The symptoms of testicular cancer are usually a lump or swelling, often with a dull ache. Some men also experience back pain, shortness of breath, headaches and vomiting.
Most testicular lumps are not cancerous, but it is important that any man experiencing these symptoms visits their GP as soon possible. For those men who do have cancer, sperm banking is recommended because the stem cells that produce sperm can become a target for chemotherapy drugs. Around one third of men who undergo chemotherapy will be left infertile.
“Bourn Hall Clinic were terrific and extremely sympathetic,” says Phil. “I went for two sessions of sperm collection and they told me that it was all good viable sperm.”
When Phil met and fell in love with Anita they knew that if they wanted children, IVF would be the only way. Once ready for a family, the couple went back to Bourn Hall Clinic where Phil had had his sperm frozen nearly ten years before.
“It was surreal,” says Phil. “Anita had to use a nasal spray to increase egg production and then she had to have injections and internal scans. I didn’t have to do anything!”
“I would wholeheartedly recommend to any man about to undergo cancer treatment to ask about sperm banking, even if they are not thinking about starting a family,” says Phil. “Having options in life is good and one of the greatest options of all is whether or not to have a child.”