A mother has been told to go home and “make memories” with her newborn after a worrying bump was discovered just hours after his birth.
Billie Jobling, 25, was not at all concerned when the midwife gave her son Isaac a routine check-up, as he appeared perfectly healthy.
But to her surprise, the midwife had found a lump in Isaac’s right testicle.
At first it was thought to be a twisted testicle, which is a fairly common problem.
“After his newborn check-ups, Isaac was taken straight to Bristol Children’s Hospital,” recalled Billie, a nursing assistant who lives with her partner Levi Davies, 27, and their three children.
“He was only a day old. They gave him an ultrasound that was supposed to take 10 minutes but it took an hour.
“Then a lot of people came in and out, an adviser was called and I panicked.”
Doctors found a tumor in Isaac’s testicles that baffled even them.
Billie said: “They still didn’t know what it was or if it was cancer – they had never seen anything like it before.
“The consultant said he needed to discuss this with other surgeons.
“He told us to take Isaac home and ‘do reminders’ for a week, then bring him back for surgery to remove his testicles.”
Billie took Isaac home to meet siblings Reuben, four, and Esmee, six, not knowing how ill their newborn brother was or what his future would hold.
This week flew by as Billie clung to Isaac and didn’t want anyone else to hold or touch him.
Isaac had a successful three-hour operation to remove his testicles and was sent home to recover.
Billie then received the results of tests on Isaac’s tumor, as well as various scans.
Isaac was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had a rare type of cancer known as juvenile granulosa cell germ tumor.
Billie was told only three cases in newborn boys had been found in the UK so far.
I didn’t even know a baby could be born with cancer
In the UK, around 2,500 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year, 90 percent of them are between 15 and 45 years old. Only one percent is younger than 10 years.
Billie said: “I didn’t even know a baby could be born with cancer.
“It was such a terrible shock. You never think that something like this will happen to you, your child. I kept asking, ‘Will he die?’
“Isaac was so tiny. He didn’t look sick and did everything a baby should do.
“The counselor explained how unusual that was.
“He said the cancer must have developed while I was carrying Isaac in my womb and would not have been detected on pregnancy scans. Some cells simply multiplied more than they should.
“He assured us there was nothing we did wrong or could have done to prevent it, it was just bad luck.
“And he promised me that they removed all the cancer during the operation – it didn’t spread. Luckily, Isaac didn’t need any further treatment.”
Happy and successful
Now at seven months old, Isaac needs to be scanned and have blood tests every three months to make sure the cancer hasn’t come back. He will be examined until he is five.
“I keep thinking, thank god the midwife noticed that lump,” Billie said.
“Fortunately, Isaac shouldn’t have any long-term effects from his cancer or surgery. A lot of boys and men only have one testicle and it doesn’t affect their fertility at all.”
Since Isaac’s diagnosis, Billie said she’s regularly checked his remaining testicles and his brother’s testicles for lumps.
Levi, a recycling worker, has also started self-screening, which he had never done before.
“Testicular cancer is taboo and men don’t go to the doctor very well either,” says Billie.
“The reason I’m telling Isaac’s story is because I want to raise awareness about testicular cancer so other mothers can get their little boys screened and their husbands screened themselves.
“It only takes a few minutes and it’s so important. Testicular cancer really is treatable.”
She said Isaac is now a happy, healthy baby, adding: “He’s thriving but I’m not sure I’ll ever fully get over what happened. It destroyed our world.”
Phil Morris MBE, founder of Testicular Cancer UK, said there are several types of testicular cancer, but it is very rare for a baby to be diagnosed with the disease.
“Recent research suggests that in the womb, male genitalia (and indeed ovaries in girls) can form later in pregnancy and this can result in testicles being smaller, underdeveloped and not shaped as they should be,” said Phil.
“Why this happens is still uncertain and more research is needed, but it could be one reason testicular cancer is increasing in younger men every year.”
Phil says it’s important for parents to be aware of testicular cancer symptoms and risk factors, such as: B. undescended testicles at birth or close relatives with the disease.
“We think it’s important for men or boys to check their testicles for lumps or swelling once a month after a bath or shower,” says Phil.
“There’s a video on testicularcanceruk.com that explains how to do it right.”
He says there’s still a taboo, not just testicular cancer, but testicles in general.
“Men only bring it up as a joke, and the term ‘grow some balls’ is used as a statement about the man.
“We would like to point out that some of the best, bravest and strongest men we know have lost theirs!”
Testicular cancer – what to look out for
The most common symptoms are:
- A lump
- swelling of the testicle
Less common symptoms are:
- Heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden accumulation of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
- back pain
Can testicular cancer be treated?
Treatment for testicular cancer involves surgery to remove the testicle, followed by scans and tests to see if the cancer has spread.
If it’s caught early and hasn’t spread, no further treatment is needed. The patient is only monitored for up to 10 years.
If the cancer has spread, it is treated with chemotherapy. This has a 95 percent cure rate.
Most men have babies naturally after testicular cancer treatment, although a small number will need IVF.
For more information or support go to: www.testicularcanceruk.com
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5489021/told-go-home-make-memories-newborn-shock-discovery-cancer/ I was told to go home and make memories with my boy when he was born with cancer