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Me, My Brother And Our Balls: Love Island star Chris Hughes’ documentary about testicular cancer

Chris Hughes, Love Island star 2017, and his brother Ben are releasing a BBC documentary around raising awareness of testicular cancer, which is set to air on Wednesday 30th September. This comes after Chris helped his brother Ben in finding a lump and getting it checked.

Chris underwent a live testicular exam on This Morning in 2018, and his brother also went on to check a lump in his testicle, which turned out to be cancer. Luckily, Ben has now had the testicle removed and is cancer-free; however, he reveals in the documentary that his fertility has been affected, and he now only has a 20% chance of conceiving a child. 

Ben says he was determined to include the emotional scenes in the documentary, including where he tells his girlfriend he may struggle to conceive because he wants to raise awareness of the consequences of testicular cancer.

Chris Hughes has won praise for his live appearance on This Morning, and he has expressed that he was keen to raise awareness of testicular cancer and other related issues. Chris showed a long scar on his own testicle as he spoke about his own health scare. He also went on to talk about his own male relative’s problems with testicular cancer: “I wanted to do it initially as my cousin had testicular cancer, which became secondary in his abdomen, he missed it initially. And I’ve had operations on my testicles, which plays out within the documentary”

Testicular cancer is one of the less common cancers, and mostly affects men between 15 and 49 years of age. The testicles are an important part of the male reproductive system as they are responsible for the production of sperm, as well as the hormone testosterone, which plays a major role in male sexual development.

Typical symptoms of testicular cancer are a painless swelling or lump in the testicles, or any change in shape/texture. It is important if you find any changes that you get checked by a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner testicular cancer is caught the better.

There are different types of testicular cancer, classified by the types

of cells the cancer forms in. This most common type of testicular cancer, which accounts for around 95% of cases, is germ cell cancer. Germ cells are a type of cell that creates sperm.

There are 2 main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer, which are seminomas and non-seminomas. Non-seminomas are the most common, including teratomas, embryonal carcinomas, choriocarcinomas, and yolk sac tumours. However, seminomas have become more common in the past 20 years, now accounting for around 40-45% of testicular cancers. Both of these subtypes tend to respond well to chemotherapy.

The rarest forms of testicular cancer include Leydig cell tumours and Sertoli cell tumours, which account for around 1-3% of cases.

Overall, testicular cancer is fairly rare, around 2,300 men are diagnosed each year accounting for just 1% of the cancers that occur in men. Testicular cancer is also unusual due to its tendency to affect younger men.