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Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford has urged men to check themselves for testicular cancer, after opening up about finding a lump during lockdown.
Rutherford, who won gold in the long jump during the London Olympics in 2012, admitted his mental health "took a bit of a beating when fear set in" after he tried to ignore the lump.
The 33-year-old could not face telling his wife, Susie, and it was not until he spoke to a friend who had battled testicular cancer that he went and got the lump checked.
Luckily, it turned out to be a cyst but Rutherford is urging other men to get checked.
Taking to Instagram, Greg posted a picture with his family and wrote a heartfelt message, which read: "I’m a lucky man. I have a beautiful, loving family and have enjoyed years of success in a sport I loved.
"I’ve always felt somewhat invincible physically… but during lockdown that invincibility took a massive knock.
"While we were all cooped up in our homes doing our best to steady the horrible scenario that covid had created, to put it bluntly, I found a lump on one of my balls.
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"Rather than accept it was there, I ignored it and created distractions like training again and using my physical strength to overpower the unknown.
"Obviously that didn’t work and my mental health took a bit of a beating when fear set in.
"I didn’t tell Susie or anyone close to me until the physical pain and worry got the better of me, then I reached out to a friend (Leo Barker) who’d suffered badly with testicular cancer.
"He said what I already knew… GO AND GET IT CHECKED! After an appointment, bloods and a scan I was told it was cysts! BLOODY CYSTS. But most importantly nothing to seriously worry about. I don’t think I’ve felt relief like it."
Greg added: "I’m just here asking everyone to check. Even now, during a pandemic, when I think it’s safe to say we’re fearful of wasting doctors and nurses time.
"If you’re a bloke, grab them and make sure nothings wrong. And if your partner won’t check their own balls, maybe offer to do it for them.
"I feel incredibly grateful I can say it’s nothing serious, but I’ve also realised that while worrying’s a natural response, it solves nothing.
"Keep checking and if you find something, take it seriously."
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