Hucknall mum urging parents to be cancer-aware for kids
A Hucknall mum is urging parents to check their children this April for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month after her son was diagnosed – aged just six years old.
Nicola Barksby realised something was wrong in 2019 during bath time when she noticed six-year-old Jake’s left testicle had become larger than his right.
Only a week later they received the devastating cancer diagnosis.
Thankfully, Jake has since received the all-clear and now, Nicola is determined to help other parents spot the signs of testicular cancer.
Nicola is working alongside local charity PASIC to highlight the importance of checking young children for testicular abnormalities.
She said: “Prior to Jake’s illness I’d never heard of children being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“We were so shocked – I thought it was something only older men could get.”
Shortly after diagnosis, Jake had surgery to remove his testicle and began a course of chemotherapy.
Nicola continued: “Jake insisted on a thumbs-up photo following each chemo session and we have a lovely selection of photos each with a beaming smile, even on the poorliest of days.”
Jake finished treatment in December 2019 and, now aged seven, has been in remission for over a year.
Now, his family hope to use their experiences to raise awareness of testicular cancer in children.
Nicola said: “Thankfully it’s rare in children Jake’s age and we were lucky to catch it early enough
"But it scares me to think how many more parents, like I was, are unaware of it.
“My advice to all parents is, testicular cancer can happen at any age.
"Please keep an eye on your young children and take a moment to familiarise yourself with what should look right, and what looks wrong.”
Louise Towse, PASIC chief executive, added: "Alongside Jake’s family, we have also supported the family of a nine month old baby boy with testicular cancer.
"Fortunately this type of cancer is very curable when identified early.
"We would therefore urge all parents of boys to be testicular cancer aware and ensure slightly older sons know how to check themselves and seek medical advice for any abnormalities.”