New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder recently told ESPN that he was treated for testicular cancer in April 2014, and that he hopes the revelation will encourage other young men to get tested for the disease, Fox Sports reported.
Solder, who recently turned 27, said the diagnosis surprised him, as he had no family history of the disease and considered himself healthy as a professional athlete. Doctors spotted the cancer after the National Football League (NFL) player told them he felt something around his testicle during a routine physical. Solder had been participating in a voluntary offseason program.
"I knew nothing about it. It was a complete surprise," Solder told ESPN. "You Google something like that and it kind of scares you, so I was like, 'I'm not going to freak out about this.' Had I not had a routine physical, I probably wouldn't have checked it, saying, 'Oh, it's just in my head, I'm going to be fine.'"
The Patriots medical staff conducted an ultrasound after the physical, and Solder underwent surgery three days later. In February, Solder helped the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl title.
“I was completely healthy, I'm a professional athlete. It can happen to anybody," Solder said. "Make sure you get yourself checked out, especially young men, because that's who it's really targeted toward."