Men’s Health Month: an important but embarrassing tale about my balls!

MEN’S Health Month is here, and the University of Sunderland is promoting some important issues for male wellbeing in the month of ‘Movember’.

So this month, with the help of Norman Nur, a mental wellbeing advisor at UoS, we at SR News are keen to showcase some of the key health issues facing men.

We’re going to tackle some of the ‘taboo’ subjects around men’s health, to help our male readers feel enabled to openly discuss their wellbeing as a normal part of life.

Today, SR News journalist Connor Bromley tells his story about the time he had to get his testicles examined…




IN EARLY 2020, I noticed a lump on my left testicle while I was in the shower – and my mind began running at a mile a minute.

I got out of the shower and asked my partner to check if I was being dramatic: she agreed there was a lump.

Now, at this point, I was running through scenarios in my head and, to be brutally honest, I was panicking. 

After very little sleep, I rang my local GP and organised an appointment for that Saturday morning.

The Movember movement is all about drawing attention to men’s health – and encouraging men to take better care of themselves.

I felt huge relief after booking it, mainly because often you have to wait weeks to see a doctor in my local area. 

As I arrived at the GP’s office, I started to get sweaty palms, because I had never been checked ‘downstairs’ by a doctor.

I walked into the office, and was told it was not to be my usual doctor, and felt very uncomfortable because I did not know the person who would be checking my private area. 

Before long I found myself sitting awkwardly, naked, on the edge of a bed with a stranger rummaging around my private parts trying to find this lump.

After a very awkward minute, the doctor said she could not find the lump – and as I reached down to show her, I realised that I had seized up downstairs, and my scrotum was as hard as a turtle’s shell.

I began to doubt myself; maybe the lump wasn’t really there? I checked some more and, what felt like an age later, I found said lump.

The prognosis was inconclusive, and I was sent a letter to say I needed to go to a hospital to get checked by a specialist. 

Connor Bromley
Connor Bromley.


Panic at this point had reached fever pitch, and I had a very mentally draining two weeks prior to my appointment, where I believed that cancer and death could well be imminent. 

The two weeks passed though, and I arrived at my appointment, nervous for what could have been a life-changing diagnosis. 

The doctor explained the process, and essentially I would be scanned in the same way a pregnant woman is scanned to check her baby.

Unfortunately, this meant a very cold liquid would go onto my downstairs region – a rather uncomfortable experience. 

The doctor spent around 10 minutes then, moving the ultrasound scanner around my scrotum, as I lay awkwardly letting my thoughts run wild.

After he was finished, I pulled my trousers up and waited expectantly for the results.

And then a weight was lifted off my shoulders – it was an epididymal cyst. Essentially a benign lump that is of very little concern.

So what was the point of me telling my story?

Well, it’s vital that we men check our bodies, and our balls, for lumps.

Yes, it might feel embarrassing to get them checked, but I doubt anyone will have a more embarrassing experience than mine – and I survived it! 

And guess what? I would take those experiences to have the knowledge that my lump was benign and not cancerous. 

So lads – feel your balls and get them checked if they don’t feel right!

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