Friday 22 November 2019

Pregnancy test used to spot testicular cancer

Byron Geldard was diagnosed with testicular cancer after taking a pregnancy test that came back positive the day before he was due to get his A’ Level results
Byron Geldard was diagnosed with testicular cancer after taking a pregnancy test that came back positive the day before he was due to get his A’ Level results

Victoria Ward

A teenager was diagnosed with testicular cancer after taking a pregnancy test that came back positive.

Byron Geldard, then 18, had finished school and had just returned from a summer holiday with friends when he received the diagnosis the day before he was due to get his A' Level results. Pregnancy tests are increasingly used to diagnose, or rule out, testicular cancer as the illness produces the same hCG hormone that is produced by the developing placenta.

Byron said it was difficult to come to terms with the news and that it took him a while to accept what was happening.

"It was all very surreal to be honest," he said.

"There I was with a positive pregnancy test and something growing inside of me. I thought I was going to end up in a documentary."

The teenager, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, first went to the doctor after finishing his exams, complaining of a pain in his side, but was told by his GP that it was just "muscle soreness" caused by exercise at the gym. That August, he and his friends went on a boys' holiday to Kavos but when he got home, he went back to the doctor, who found a lump in his side and immediately referred him for an ultrasound.

Scans revealed that he had a tumour that had spread to his lungs. Byron was told he had cancer but that doctors were unsure which type it was.

The radiologist at Hinchingbrooke Hospital told him that Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, would be in touch.

He returned home to find the phone ringing and Addenbrooke's on the other end, telling him they had a bed on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward.

"They didn't know what type of cancer I had," said Byron. "I could have had four or five different types.

"The doctor kept saying things but it wasn't really going in," he said. "I left the room and fainted - I think it was the fear of the unknown."

He was referred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Cambridge, which asked him to provide a sample for a pregnancy test to check his hormones.

After getting a positive result, Byron was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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