Twin brothers from the U.K. who were both diagnosed with cancer last year received the news within three weeks of each other, according to reports.
Sean and Ryan Collard, 24, from Hetton-le-Hole, a town in the City of Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, were each told they had testicular cancer, the Mirror reported Tuesday. Ryan received the diagnosis Sept. 1, while Sean discovered he had the same condition three weeks later on Sept. 21.
Ryan first went to the doctor for lower back pain before he learned of his condition. Doctors initially told him to get a new mattress and sent him home. After three visits, Ryan was diagnosed with the disease and rushed to chemotherapy.
Just days after visiting his bother in the hospital, Sean walked into a nearby clinic after complaining of swelling in his groin and discovered he too had the aggressive form of cancer.
“First and foremost, people need to be aware it is a young person’s disease, you start to think about these things later in life,” Ryan told the publication. “The signs are not always obvious. I’m an example of why you have to think about it.”
Ryan is undergoing stem cell treatment for the disease, which has spread throughout his body.
Sean immediately had an operation to remove the affected area and returned to work without any lingering issues. He thanked his brother who pushed him to get checked out.
“If it was not for Ryan, I would have just put off the check-ups and then I would have been in the same boat,” Sean said. “You do not expect this in the prime of life.”
“No one likes getting their bits out for the checks, but don’t be embarrassed. It could save your life,” he added.
Testicular cancer is considered highly treatable but can be dangerous if not detected early. Symptoms include a lump or enlargement in either testicle, heaviness in the scrotum, and pain or swelling of the abdomen, according to the Mayo Clinic. Experts urge those who notice these signs to visit a doctor as soon as possible.