Dad-of-two Matt Fox recalls being diagnosed with testicular cancer at 21


Fit tennis player dad-of-two diagnosed with testicular cancer despite NO symptoms reveals how a feeling something was ‘off’ saved his life

  • Matt Fox, 35, was travelling around Europe for tennis at the age of 21 
  • Missing home and family, he moved back to Melbourne in 2008 
  • After noticing his body ‘felt off’ he visiting a GP who wasn’t concerned
  • Matt insisted on scans which later diagnosed him with testicular cancer
  • He’s now a dad-of-two and fitness coach who urges men to not avoid check-ups

At the age of 21, Matt Fox was travelling around Europe aspiring to become a professional tennis player – but just months after returning home to Melbourne in 2008 he was battling cancer. 

It wasn’t long after settling back home that Matt had what he described as a ‘strange instinctual feeling’ that something was ‘off’ with his body and went to visit a GP who brushed off his concerns.

Matt, now 35, insisted on having a blood test and scans ‘just in case’ anything was wrong – and luckily he did as specialists found a tiny tumour later found to be stage 1 testicular cancer.

Australian fitness coach Matt Fox (pictured) was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 21 after having a strange instinctual feeling something 'felt off' with his body

Australian fitness coach Matt Fox (pictured) was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 21 after having a strange instinctual feeling something ‘felt off’ with his body

Prior to the prognosis, Matt (pictured at 21) was living and travelling around Europe aspiring to become a professional tennis player. But feeling lonely abroad and missing family back in Australia, he returned home to Melbourne in 2008

Prior to the prognosis, Matt (pictured at 21) was living and travelling around Europe aspiring to become a professional tennis player. But feeling lonely abroad and missing family back in Australia, he returned home to Melbourne in 2008

‘I had no physical symptoms and couldn’t feel anything down there – neither could the doctor at the time,’ Matt, now a fitness coach, told FEMAIL.

‘I just had a feeling.’

After the scan he met with specialists who told him the news.

‘I remember being so scared – it’s never something you want to hear,’ Matt recalled. ‘I started researched everything about the cancer, like whether I could have kids in the future and the effects of chemo.

Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in men aged between 20 and 39, with the chance of surviving the five years being 97 per cent.

This type of cancer usually causes no symptoms, but sometimes a painless swelling or lump may present itself on the testicle.

Matt said he viewed battling cancer as a ‘challenge’ that would make him stronger mentally.

‘I thought if I can beat this, I can beat anything,’ he said. ‘But the initial known was terrifying.’

'I had no physical symptoms and couldn't feel anything down there - neither could the doctor at the time,' Matt, now a fitness coach, told FEMAIL. Scans found a small tumour in his testicle which was cancerous

‘I had no physical symptoms and couldn’t feel anything down there – neither could the doctor at the time,’ Matt, now a fitness coach, told FEMAIL. Scans found a small tumour in his testicle which was cancerous 

Thankfully doctors told Matt the cancer is ‘very treatable’ and he will first need surgery followed by chemotherapy, which he described as ‘daunting’.

A month later he had surgery to remove the cancer and entire testicle then was thrown into one harsh round of chemotherapy for seven hours.

Being young and ambitious, Matt recalls going to a friend’s place a couple days after treatment and jumped on an exercise bike.

‘I wanted to test myself but was insanely weak, I think I only lasted a minute,’ he said.

He then settled back into normal life as much as he could but decided to leave tennis behind him as he lost motivation.

A month later he had surgery to remove the cancer and entire testicle then was thrown into one harsh round of chemotherapy for seven hours. Today he's a happy dad-of-two living with the family in Noosa and has passed his five-year checkpoint

A month later he had surgery to remove the cancer and entire testicle then was thrown into one harsh round of chemotherapy for seven hours. Today he’s a happy dad-of-two living with the family in Noosa and has passed his five-year checkpoint 

Three years prior Matt was living in Denmark and after the prognosis discovered the small country one of the highest rates of testicular cancer in the world.

‘I find it that fact so strange, it’s such a coincidence,’ he said.

It’s also coincidental he returned home and stopped playing tennis when he did, because he otherwise likely wouldn’t have noticed anything wrong.

Today he’s a happy dad-of-two living with the family in Noosa and has passed his five-year checkpoint.

Testicular cancer symptoms

Testicular cancer may cause no symptoms. The most common symptom is a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle or a change in size or shape

Less common symptoms include:

  • feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • feeling of unevenness
  • pain or ache in the lower abdomen, the testicle or scrotum
  • back pain
  • enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue (due to hormones created by cancer cells)

If found early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers.

Source: cancer.org.au

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Matt urges other men to be diligent with check-ups and don’t avoid getting a second opinion. 

‘You know your body better than anyone else; be mindful with your health and be in tune with your body,’ he said.

Matt has shared his story with thousands on Instagram and also shares health and fitness tips through video content. 

If you’re interested in downloading his app, click here.

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