Cancer patient shares warning for men
MINNEAPOLIS - A young man in the Twin Cities has a message for guys his age. Stop putting off a visit to the doctor.
For months, Braden McGraw felt a lump, but did nothing about it. Then came the word: cancer.
A Kansas native, McGraw moved to Minneapolis when he graduated college.
"A healthy 24, 25-year-old that was kind of invincible," he said.
McGraw would celebrate that quarter of a century birthday with a burden. He had detected a lump on his testicle.
"The first time was probably I want to say March or February of last year," he said. "I just wanted it to go away, and thought that not thinking about it was the best choice."
Out of sight, out of mind. McGraw said he was afraid of getting confirmation that the lump was indeed testicular cancer.
"I was just like, 'It might be, but right now it's not because a doctor hasn't told me,'" he said.
But in mid-October, McGraw heard those words.
"It was pretty alarming," he said. "The stage was 3A, which basically just means that it had spread from my testicle where the original tumor was through my bloodstream to my lungs."
McGraw is currently undergoing intense cycles of chemotherapy.
Fortunately, McGraw says his prognosis is good.
"Testes cancer has an extremely high cure rate," said Dr. Laurence O'Connor with HealthPartners.
O'Connor said men should be watching for signs.
"Men should self-examine themselves once a month in the shower when things are nice and loose and easy to feel," said O'Connor.
In addition to young people being cognizant of their health, McGraw said they should know their bodies.
"More than anything be aware of different markers or symptoms and go do something about it and not just put it on the back burner," he said.
A GoFundMe account has been established for McGraw's medical expenses.