Man Who Had Penis Removed Runs Charity For Men With Cancer
A man whose penis was amputated after a cancer diagnosis now runs a charity to encourage men to see a doctor or talk about things like testicular, anal or penile cancer.
Wayne Earle, from Silverdale, New South Wales, was diagnosed with penile cancer in April 2014, eight months after he discovered a lump on his penis which was initially thought to be a genital wart.
However, he soon realised the cream he had been prescribed wasn’t working and the pea-sized lump had grown to ‘about the size of 10c piece’. Earle, 53, then visited the doctors again, which is when he received his diagnosis.
The 53-year-old had surgery the following month, which involved him having a penectomy – a full amputation at the base – and a perineal urethrostomy, which is an opening created from the urethra to the perinmeum.
‘It’s safe to say in that moment, I felt as if every part of the being that made me a man was stripped of me,’ Earle told news.com.au. ‘It was like I lost my best friend.’
Not only that, but he felt like he was ‘the only person in the world who had this type of cancer’ because at the time he was diagnosed, he found it difficult to find much information about it. So in the years since, Earle has made it his mission to raise awareness for the types of cancer men don’t want to talk about.
Part of that mission involved him setting up a Facebook group, Checkyourtackle, to help men in a similar position to him. Earle now runs it as a charity, with the 53-year-old saying he is determined to show other men with this type of cancer that ‘life goes on’.
‘Your penis doesn’t make you a man,’ he said. ‘It’s what you do and how you achieve things that makes you a man. I didn’t want another man to go through what I went through, feeling alone.’
It’s so important to raise awareness and provide support. I’ve been battling that thing of men being embarrassed. I want them to know it’s OK to have problems, it’s OK to have your sh*t checked and it’s not weak to speak up if you have a problem.
Thankfully, Earle has been cancer-free since his surgery and he was released from treatment six months ago.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.