An 18-year-old boy who took a pregnancy test soon learned that he had testicular cancer.
Byron Geldard of Cambridgeshire, England took the test because testicular cancer produces hCG, the same hormone produced when a female body is developing a placenta.
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“‘It was all very surreal to be honest,” he told Caters News Agency. “There I was with a positive pregnancy test and something growing inside me. I thought I was going to end up in a documentary.”
He quickly began seven months of treatment–but the good news is that he’s now in remission after the treatment worked.
Dr Danish Mazhar, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, told the Daily Mail that testicular cancer often–but not always–produces beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), found in the blood and the urine which is produced by the developing placenta.
“The pregnancy hormone is often (but not always) produced by testicular tumors,” he said.
“Where it is produced, it can used for diagnostic and monitoring purposes. In cases where the cancer has spread, the level of the HCG can be very high and if the clinical picture fits with a testicular cancer then a pregnancy test, which effectively is a test for HCG in the urine, can be used to make the diagnosis.”
Geldard initially went to a doctor after a nagging pain in his side became hard to ignore. Scans then showed he had a tumor spreading into his lungs, but doctors weren’t sure what type of cancer it was.
The comedian is now incorporating the ordeal into his routine, to help educate people.