Together we will beat cancer


Coronation Street tackles testicular cancer

23 Nov 2017 14:50

If you watch the soaps, you’ll have seen Robert was diagnosed with testicular cancer in Coronation Street last night. I was surprised by how quickly he went from being seen to diagnosis, but I’ll put that down to creative licence!

More importantly, it highlighted that Robert was really reluctant to talk about the symptoms he’d been having because he was embarrassed and frightened. Robert’s partner Michelle had to bully him into getting seen.

In fact, survival for testicular cancer is very high. Nearly all men are cured. But the sensitive nature of this cancer means that some men put-off speaking to their GP.

Do you think that men – like Robert – still find it hard to talk about worrying symptoms such as a lump in their testicle? Or is it easier nowadays to share these sorts of symptoms?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. 


PS: If you’re worried about testicular cancer, or someone who you think might have it, we’ve got a guide to finding it early which explains what to check for.

Re: Coronation Street tackles testicular cancer

23 Nov 2017 16:27 in response to Moderator Helen


As always the soaps reinforce stereotypes (“men” have trouble talking about health issues) and sugar coat NHS services. 

In real life, Robert would probably have gone to see his GP several times and been told he was too young to have testicular cancer. Then if he had been persistent he would have had a routine referral to secondary services and waited several weeks if not months before being seen and if he was lucky then sent for diagnostic tests! I did like his line about wanting to ban the phrase “fighting cancer” as it gives the impression that those who die do so because they don’t fight hard enough!

This storyline is about as believable as Robert coming out of prison with a fantastic sun tan (as he did last week lol). 

It could be worse, a character in Emmerdale recently had a Sub Arachnoid Haemorhage (a major bleeding within the brain). In real life 60% of people with an SAH are dead within an hour, most of the remaining 40% have permanent brain damage and the lucky few who survive take months to recover after a lot of intensive therapy over a period if months. On Emmerdale the character discharged himself from hospital and was back to normal within a fortnight! That storyline was close to my heart as my wife had an SAH in 2013 and it has taken her four years to get back to anything near to normal. 

Let’s hope Corrie do some good with this storylne and raise awareness in a positive way without glossing over the devastating impact a cancer diagnosis can have.

I’d get out more, but I’m waiting in for a delivery Happy




Re: Coronation Street tackles testicular cancer

26 Nov 2017 00:10 in response to davek
I have survived testicular cancer including chemo and surgery. This storyline bears no resemblance to my experience, it's more likely to scare men.