Pregnancy test helps save an 18-year-old’s life
He was suffering with the worst stomach pains for months — even the doctors didn't know what was wrong with the young man. Out of ideas, medical professionals then turned to the most unusual methods.
Eighteen-year-old Byron Geldard from England had just finished school and kept on feeling pain in his side. At first, doctors reassured him that everything was alright; it was just a charley horse caused by too much exercise.
Yet the pain kept on getting worse. On his next visit to the doctor, medical staff discovered a lump on the teenager's stomach. An ultrasound soon revealed the real reason behind Byron's pain: cancer. The scans also revealed that the tumor had also spread to his lungs. However, these observations failed to determine which type of cancer Byron had. This information was needed to treat the young man correctly as quickly as possible. It was a matter of life or death.
As doctors tried to figure out what he was suffering from, Byron couldn't take it any more. Overcome by the fear of the unknown, he left the room and fainted. The Englishman thought he had his whole life ahead of him, but now he was seriously ill and the doctors didn't know how to help him.
Byron was taken to the Teenage Cancer Trust in Cambridge. This is where quick-thinking doctors came up with a rather unusual idea and asked the young man to take a pregnancy test. Unbelievably, the test results came back positive!
It proved to be a very smart move. Pregnancy tests are used to diagnose testicular cancer, because the same hormone that pregnant women produce is also present in men suffering from this disease.
Thanks to the test, Byron found out he was suffering from stage-four testicular cancer; it had spread to his lungs and abdomen. Byron was treated with chemotherapy straight away to save his life. The teenager also had surgery to remove the growth from his abdomen and his testicle.
Byron was lucky — the treatment was having the desired effect. "It was a really strange feeling to be told I was okay again," the teenager said. "You're just sort of expected to go back to normal, but my mindset has completely changed. Before all this happened you think your life is pretty much guaranteed until you're about 85 but it gave me the realization of my own mortality." Now 22, Byron has learned to appreciate life and enjoy every day. And he'll never forget what saved his life: a pregnancy test.
For Byron, the positive result from the pregnancy test meant something entirely different than it does for women. Even so, it has changed his life.