What Dr. Luke has to say about Testicular Cancer

(1.39.testicularCA)

Today Dr. Luke will talk to us about testicular cancer. This is particularly important in younger men for two reasons.  First just the cancer itself and its affect on life and even causing death but also men can be left in the position of not being able to have children after this cancer.  Thus it is very important. Dr. Luke will start by telling us a story of a Chinese man with this type of cancer.

Wang Jia Nan was a 29 year old man who had married four years before. He and his wife had enjoyed marriage but were a little concerned that they still did not have children. They had wanted to have children quickly but were unable to have them. What were they to do?  They decided to ask a doctor friend about this.  They did and after the discussion the doctor suggested that Wang Jia Nan and his wife both come to his office.

Wang Jia Nan and his wife found a day two weeks later which suited both of their schedules. They informed their doctor friend and this was also a good time for him as well. Several days later Wang Jia Nan was taking a shower when he noticed that on one of his testicles was a mass he had not noticed before. He was sure it was there. He initially did not tell his wife but just before their appointment with the doctor he did. She as was Wang Jia Nan was very concerned. What was it?  Was this the reason they could not have children they both asked themselves.

Wang Jia Nan and his wife went to the doctorís office and soon after arriving mentioned the testicular nodule. The doctor asked him a few questions and then examined Wang Jia Nan. The doctor told them both that they needed to do an ultrasound of the mass. This came back several days later and the doctor told them that this mass could be a testicular cancer. However, they would first need to biopsy the mass to fully know what it was.

Wang Jia Nan asked the doctor why he did not know about these symptoms earlier. The doctor told him that 10% of patients have some pain in the testicle which alerts them to the fact that there might be a mass in the testicle. Another 10% are totally asymptomatic at presentation. Most people have a painless enlargement of the one involved testicle. Finally about 10% of patients have symptoms related to disease which has spread from the testicle to other places in the body. For example back, cough or lower extremity swelling. Wang Jia Nan was one of the few patients who had no symptoms.

The doctor started by saying that there was a good chance they could deal with this and Wang Jia Nan could be cured of the cancer. However, before they could discuss surgery they would need to see if the cancer was spread anywhere else in his body. How would they do this Wang Jia Nan and his wife asked the doctor? The doctor told them that they would do a CT scan of his chest and abdomen which would show if the cancer had spread from his testicle to other areas of his body. This fact was very important, for if the cancer was confined to his testicle then it would be possible to be cured from the cancer. Wang Jia Nan was again glad to hear that a cure was possible.

The CT scan was scheduled and the doctor told them to come back in several days for the results of the CT scan. They were both very nervous. What would the results show?  They thought they could not wait for the several days needed to do and get the results of the CT scan.  What should they do to help the time pass more quickly?  They did not know.

Wang Jia Nan and his wife returned home. Just after they arrived some friends arrived at their home. The husband of the couple worked with Wang Jia Nan. They just wanted to see how they were doing. Wang Jia Nanís friend had wondered if there was something up as at work Wang Jia Nan had been much more quiet than normal. He knew this was not like Wang Jia Nan.  They did not know they had just returned from the hospital.

However, Wang Jia Nan was very glad they had come to their house as they were good friends and they were so very anxious about this cancer issue. They needed to talk to someone. As Wang Jia Nan talked to his friends his wife began to cry. She was so hurt by the thought her husband could die from cancer. Their friends comforted them and told them that to worry about the worse possible situation would not help them at all. Then Wang Jia Nanís friend asked them if they could tell them about the person of Jesus Christ as he had helped them so much in their lives.

Wang Jia Nan and his wife had heard about this person Jesus Christ but did not know much about him. Wang Jia Nanís friend turned to a place in the Bible which said, Ďhear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you.  Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.  Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly (Psalms 102.1-3).í Wang Jia Nanís friend asked him if this expressed some of his hurt and anxiety. It sure did, Wang Jia Nan said.

His friend turned to another place in the Bible which said, Ďpraise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagleís (Psalms 103.1-5).í

Wang Jia Nanís friend asked him if he and his wife understood what this meant. It sounded good but they did not understand all of it Wang Jai Nan said. His friend said because God is a gracious and loving God we can praise his name.  He is gracious because he heals our diseases, even the testicular cancer and also forgives our sins. He redeems us from the pit. This means that he takes us away and out from bad things and places and gives us love and compassion.  The good thing he gives us renews us like eagles so we feel young again. Wang Jia Nan had to admit he wanted to feel that way. But how could he, he asked his friend?  His friend answered that he must first come to believe that Jesus was the savior of the world and its sins. At this point Wang Jia Nanís friends were out of time and needed to go home. They were sure to talk again.

Several days later they returned to the hospital to see the doctor to get the results of the scan.   The results showed that there was no spread from the testicle to other areas. Wang Jia Nan and his wife were so very relieved. The doctor cautioned them that this does not mean he was cured. However, they were relieved that at least there was a possibility of a cure.

What do they do from here Wang Jia Nan and his wife asked the doctor?  First is the consideration of sperm banking.  This would be important as the radiation therapy after surgery could damage the sperm and make them ineffective or even cause genetic abnormalities. This would be done the following week. Then they would set a surgery date.

After the sperm banking they set a date for surgery. The surgery was done without any problems.  Wang Jia Nan did fine. The doctor felt as if they got all of the cancer but he would need radiation to the area to make sure there would be no return. This course of treatment would give up to a 98% chance of cure which is very good.  During the course of the radiation Wang Jia Nan felt a little tired from the treatment and for a week or two after the treatment. Later he felt fine.

Several weeks after he finished the radiation treatment he returned to see his doctor who talked to Wang Jia Nan and his wife about children. The doctor told them that if they wanted to consider having children they could take some of the sperm which was banked and give to his wife and see if she could get pregnant. The decision as to when they could do this was up to them.  Wang Jia Nan and his wife told him they would think about this and get back to the doctor when they had made a decision.

After returning home they were glad that they had been able to go through the surgery, radiation, have a good prognosis and then be able to consider having a baby. They felt most fortunate at this point in life. However, in the back of their minds there was a nagging idea that the cancer would return. They thought about what their friends had said about having strength like an eagle. They were interested in hearing more about what their friend had to say about this Jesus Christ so they called them and their friends came to their home.

Wang Jia Nan asked their friends more about this person Jesus Christ. He turned back to the same place in the Bible which said, Ďthe Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord had compassion on those who fear him (Psalms 103.8-13).í

All of us have sinned before God. These transgressions separate us from God.  However God wants to remove these transgressions from us. How does he do this?  He sent Jesus to die in our place. In another place in the Bible it says this, Ďbut now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3.21-26).

What does all of this mean, Wang Jia Nanís friend asked? It means that Jesus Christ came to die in our place so that we would not have to bear the punishment for our wrong doings. He did this by dying on a cross. All the people of the world are in this situation. It was the shedding of the blood on the cross which allowed for us to have this forgiveness of sins.

But that is not the end of the story, i.e. the death of Jesus Christ. Though he died for our sins it was the resurrection of Jesus from dead which showed Jesusí victory over sin and death. Going to the same place in the Bible they had written before Wang Jia Nanís friend read, Ďas for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it not more.  But from everlasting to everlasting the Lordís love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their childrenís children-with those who remember his covenant and remember to obey his precepts (Psalms 103.15-18).í

Jesus Christ rose from the dead and though we die Jesus can and will give us new life if only we trust in him.  The Bible says it like this in another place, Ďif you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved (Romans 10.9).í  This means that if we believe and are willing to confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord because he did for our sins and then believe that he rose from the dead to show his victory over sin and death we will be saved.

Wang Jia Nanís friend asked him and his wife if they believed these things and if they did would they desire to ask Jesus Christ into their lives. They did believe these things and wanted to have this new life.

Wang Jia Nan and his friend asked him to pray this prayer after him, ĎDear Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner and that I have sinned before you. I ask you to forgive me of my sins and come into my life to give me new life. I believe also that you rose from the dead to give us new life both now and forevermore. Amen.í

Wang Jia Nan and his wife gained a new life in Jesus Christ which helped them overcome their fears and anxieties. They also were able to have children and soon after had a new baby girl.

You too can have this new life in Jesus Christ if you will only believe in Jesus Christ as Wang Jia Nan and his wife did.