Bob Champion was diagnosed with cancer in two body parts – symptoms you need to know

Dr Nighat discusses symptoms of prostate cancer

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Such was the dramatic nature his triumph it attracted the attention of filmmakers who turned it into the 1984 picture, Champions, starring John Hurt as Bob Champion.

Since retiring from a successful career, he has become a trainer based in Newmarket, but most notably has set up the Bob Champion Cancer Trust to raise funds for, and awareness of testicular and prostate cancer.

Champion has since been awarded a CBE for his services to prostate and testicular cancer research.

While Prostate and Testicular cancer are some of the most common cancers in men, they are also two of the most survivable.

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However, as with all cancers, the key to this survival rate is catching them early, so knowing what symptoms to look out for is key.

The key symptoms of prostate cancer normally do not appear until the tumour has grown large enough to start putting pressure on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.

The seven main symptoms of prostate cancer include needing to pee more frequently, this symptom is most associated with needing to pee at night. Further symptoms include a sudden needing to rush to the toilet and hesitancy, or difficult in starting to pee when you get there.

Whilst you’re peeing look out to see if you’re straining, taking a long time to pee or have a weak flow of urine. Also, look out for any blood in your urine whilst you’re peeing. These are common symptoms of prostate cancer.


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Another symptom will occur after you’ve finished, you may feel like your bladder has not quite emptied. Furthermore, any bloody in your semen will also be a sign of prostate cancer, but there may be other reasons.

However, having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer, they could be a sign of benign prostate enlargement, a condition where your prostate gets
larger. This mainly affects older men.

It is also important to note that signs that the cancer may have spread to your bones and back include a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unintentional weight loss.

Pain in the testicles is one of the symptoms of testicular cancer; the rarer cancer amongst the two, but one of the easiest for you to identify if something is wrong.

The main symptoms of testicular cancer are a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum. This pain won’t be constant, it will come and go and may also be a sign of stress, rather than cancer.

Your testicles may also change in appearance e.g., one testicle may become slightly larger than the other.

A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum and an increase in the firmness of a testicle are the two other main symptoms.

It is key that you report any changes, lumps, swellings, or pains to your GP if you think something is wrong.

Fortunately, only a very small minority of lumps and swellings are cancerous and, as mentioned, pain in the testicles can be linked to stress rather than cancer.

However, whilst this is the case, it is recommended that it is far better to get any pain or swelling checked and find that it is non-cancerous, than ignore that pain and swelling and it turns out to be.

Cancer treatment has also moved on a lot since Champion was diagnosed in 1979 and so, if caught early, you have a high probability of surviving testicular or prostate cancer if you catch them early.

The NHS recommends that if you don’t feel comfortable seeing your GP, you can go to your local sexual health clinic.

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