More than 100 football players attending summer camp at Nassau Community College this week heard an illuminating talk regarding the threat of testicular cancer, which affects teens and younger men, particularly those between the ages of 15 and 35. Anthony Corcoran, MD, an NYU Winthrop Hospital urologic oncologist and expert in testicular cancer, explained to the athletes how this cancer is very curable if caught early, but that few young men are aware of the need for regular self-examination. The talk was orchestrated by Nassau Community College adjunct professor Dolores Edwards Sullivan, who recently lost her son Brian to testicular cancer. Brian loved football and was also a chef. In efforts to raise awareness about the risks of testicular cancer, Sullivan has initiated a foundation called Brian’s Kitchen in his memory. Brian’s Kitchen will provide healthy snacks and nourishment to football players during the season, as it did at camp this week. In turn, with the help of Nassau Community College Coach Jamel Ramsay, the camp athletes lent willing ears to hear Dr. Corcoran’s talk.
“We need to raise awareness about testicular cancer, and young men need to take ownership of their health,” says Dr. Corcoran. “Once a month, in the shower, men need to look for lumps, bumps, and swelling or irregularities.”
Close to 10,000 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed every year, and it is the second most common malignancy in young men 15 to 19 years old, with leukemia being number 1. For unknown, reasons, the incidence rate of testicular cancer has been increasing in the U.S. and many other countries for several decades.
Professor Sullivan explained that when her son was diagnosed, his cancer had already advanced to stage IV, and it took his life within six months. “Had he known about the signs of cancer, he could have found it, and with treatment his life could have been saved,” says Sullivan. Now, says Sullivan of her initiatives through Brian’s Kitchen, “God is working in the right direction.”
Sullivan plans to reach out to many other Long Island coaches in efforts to team with more to raise awareness. “Coaches are the best possible teachers because they become involved with students’ lives, and they care.”