There is little argument that cancer is among the most well-known and pervasive diseases worldwide. Whether it be advertisements on television, benefit fundraisers, or passersby asking for donations, this disease is part of our everyday lives and hard to ignore.

Despite this fact, for whatever reason, I seemed to think that cancer was something that wouldn’t affect someone I knew or loved.

So when Justin, my best friend of over ten years, told me of his diagnosis, I was in complete shock. In an instant, memories of past times together flashed before my eyes and I had so many questions. What was the prognosis and in what stage was the disease? What would be the next step of action? I was scared for my friend.

I have been impressed with how Justin has handled this life-changing event. I am so thankful that he was able to detect his case early, and I urge others to check themselves regularly as well.

Ben has been my best friend since we first met in winter track in high school. Although we live hundreds of miles apart now, we are closer than ever. Shhhhh… don’t speak.

Testicular cancer isn’t just affecting me; it’s affecting those closest to me. Every Saturday, one of my friends or family members will be sharing about their reactions to my diagnosis. I hope these posts serve as a reminder to talk to the men in your life about performing regular self-checks and their health in general. Together, we can lessen the impact of testicular cancer. Check out Healthy But Aware posts here.

This post originally appeared on A Ballsy Sense of Tumor. It is republished with permission.