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Learning difficulties and Testicular cancer

Image by Nathan Anderson

Young men with various learning difficulties such as autism and fragile x do get diagnosed with testicular cancer. unfortunately, it seems that there is very little understanding, guidelines or information for the parents or carers on checking for the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer. How can we address this?.

Finding cancer early is key to not having treatments that men with learning difficulties would find impossible to receive. Chemotherapy is of course a long process for testicular cancer involving days on wards hooked up to chemotherapy and for a vast majority, it would be impossible to administer the treatments unless the men are heavily sedated, indeed some need to be sedated just to have blood tests and CT scans so the chances of having chemotherapy are slim.

Learning difficulties of course cover many different conditions and many different care needs but the basics of finding testicular cancer and getting diagnosed are the same.

The problems, of course, are that the testicular cancer awareness we provide to many schools and workplaces is of course taken in by the young men listening and they can act on this for the rest of their lives.

Many young men with learning difficulties do not understand self-examination and there seems to be a gap in guidelines on who would check for them be it carers or parents.

Some young men with learning difficulties t have health checks with health professionals but checking for lumps in testicles and lumps in breasts, on the whole, is not included.

So things that need addressing so cancer can be found early and prevent long term treatments

1- Who checks for any lumps or swellings of the testicles once a month?

2-Should routine health check up's involve checking testicles and in females the breasts?

3- More awareness by testicular cancer and Autism and learning difficulties charities.

4- Oncologists and the support nurse with up to date treatment plans. There are new treatments that can be used and have been.

Below is an interview i did with Sharon from Newcastle who was told her son with fragile X and autism. She was told they could not do anything for her son and would more than likely die within a year, she asked us and others and she refused to let her son not get treated.

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