Cancer survivor’s diagnosis warning

Tim Parkes, a testicular cancer survivor from Blidworth wants to promote early diagnosis.
Tim Parkes, a testicular cancer survivor from Blidworth wants to promote early diagnosis.

A Blidworth man is throwing his weight behind an early cancer diagnosis campaign after coming perilously close to dying.

Tim Parkes (55) was 26, and dressed up as a teddy boy in tight trousers for a fancy dress party, when his mother spotted a large swelling.

A hospital scan showed he had seminoma testicular cancer, after being injured by a miscaught cricket ball a few months earlier.

Said Tim: “I was physically sick with the pain and afterwards my right testicle became swollen and rock-hard, and I was also passing blood in my urine.

“My GP told me it was quite normal after a knock like that so I thought nothing more about it despite the swelling.”

But the scan at the former Nottingham General Hospital showed the cancer was at stage 3 and had spread into Tim’s lymph glands and on to his lung.

He said: “I was so young and fit and healthy and had not really heard about cancer. I could not really believe it or connect with it at all.”

Tim underwent chemotherapy followed by 24 sessions of radiotherapy.

He added: “That has left me with long-term side-effects such as my pancreas and adrenal glands not working, but back then their job was to keep me alive, which is what they did.”

The tumours responded to the chemotherapy and radiotherapy to the point where he was given the cancer all clear a decade or so later.

However, he has continued to check for lumps everywhere on his body since his treatment.

Tim, a former Derby college principal, said: “I had given up on it, but had my mum not noticed the swelling the cancer could have spread even more and been a whole lot worse.”

If you are worried about changes to your body phone a Cancer Research UK nurse on 0808 800 4040.