Twin brothers were diagnosed with testicular cancer within days of each other – at just 23 years of age. But Ryan and Sean Collard’s stories could not be more different. Newly-qualified teacher Ryan spent weeks visiting first his GP then three separate hospitals before his condition was finally recognised – with one doctor suggesting he ‘buy a new mattress’ for pain in his back.
Two weeks after his first visit to hospital, he was rushed in for chemotherapy and did not have time to store sperm in case he is left infertile by his treatment – and is now undergoing stem cell treatment after the cancer spread to other parts of his body. Ryan’s brother, office worker Sean felt a twinge in his groin shortly after visiting his his twin after he started his chemo in September last year. Sean noticed a swelling, visited a walk in centre when he returned home, and had to have an operation immediately to have the cancer removed.
The twins, now aged 24, are speaking out to raise awareness of the condition, an aggressive form of the disease common in young men, urging others not to be ‘embarrassed’ if they feel any signs. Ryan is undergoing stem cell treatment to tackle the cancer which moved from his groin to his stomach and lungs.