Rugby star who survived testicular cancer urges men to check their balls

Eric PetersEric Peters
Eric Peters
A RUGBY legend is urging players to check their balls and avoid an early sending off.

Former Scottish rugby national Eric Peters is calling on all males to check themselves for testicular lumps and bumps, as new survey reveals that two thirds of rugby pros – and most men – do not.

The research by Orchid – Fighting Male Cancer shows that only 36 per cent of players regularly check themselves, with the rest putting their lives at risk.

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The results were released to coincide with the Six Nations and the campaign is headed up by Scottish rugby legend and testicular cancer survivor Eric.

The former number eight was diagnosed during rehabilitation for shattering his knee.

Because he was not training at the time, he knew that the pain in his scrotum could not be from normal knocks and bumps.

Eric went to get it checked and was successfully treated for the disease – returning to play rugby for club and country.

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He said: “The reality is that we need more men of all sports to be comfortable with holding more than just a rugby ball in their hands.

“I survived testicular cancer because I knew the importance of getting checked out at the earliest opportunity and I caught mine in the early stages.

“Self-checking is quick and easy and it could mean you spot something early that saves your life.”

He added: “Whichever nation you’re supporting, we can all support beating cancer and you can do your bit by checking yourself once a month.”

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Testicular cancer will affect over 2,400 men this year and around 60 young men will die from the disease.

It most commonly affects men between the ages of 15 and 45 but, if caught early, is survived by 98 per cent of those diagnosed.

How to perform a testicular self check:

  • Check the entire surface of each testicle separately, and carefully, using one or both hands.
  • Roll each testicle between the thumb and forefinger to check that the surface is free of lumps or bumps. Do not squeeze.
  • Get to know your balls – their size, texture and anatomy. Identify the epididymis or sperm collecting tube, often mistaken for an abnormal lump that runs behind each testicle.
  • Encourage your partner to have a go as he or she may be more likely to identify a problem in the future and get you to do something about it.

If you feel a small pea-sized lump, or any abnormality on the testicle, go to your doctor and get it checked at the earliest opportunity.

Watch Orchid’s testicular self check video at

For more information on testicular cancer visit

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