The fact that he was having trouble going to the toilet later turned out to be an alarm sign for cancer for a young Briton through a diagnosis. The 26-year-old has been fighting his cancer since then – and has an appeal to all young people.
He thought it was the alcohol: When Briton Phil Dobson suddenly had problems urinating on a trip with friends in July 2021, he initially had little thought. The then 24-year-old told Chronicle Live magazine that he felt like he had to go to the toilet but couldn’t go. However, after the symptoms did not improve on the journey home and he also felt severe pain, he decided to see a doctor.
He initially diagnosed a urinary tract infection and gave him medication for it. However, there was no improvement, reports Dobson. In August he went to the doctor again and was even hospitalized after his prostate was examined. There, doctors discovered a lump on his prostate, a tumor, as it later turned out. A catheter was inserted into him and his bladder emptied, Dobson said. Around two liters of urine were drained – in healthy people around 500 milliliters are normal.
The diagnosis – a shock: The doctors told him he had rhabdomyosarcoma, an “incurable” form of cancer. “I was devastated,” says Dobson. He has lost family members to cancer in the past. In addition, he was healthy and did a lot of sports.
Rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant tumor that originates in muscle tissue, is the most common soft tissue tumor in childhood, writes the University Hospital in Münster. Rhabdomyosarcoma is divided into two cell groups: embryonic and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. In principle, rhabdomyosarcomas can occur anywhere there is muscle.
However, giving up was not an option for the 26-year-old. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment in recent years. The hope: That the cancer can be controlled if it cannot be cured. “I’ve decided to just live the best life I can,” he said.
Dobson also uses his diagnosis as an opportunity to make young people in particular aware of the warning signs of cancer. Together with a charitable organization called the Teenage Cancer Trust, he wants to call for people to see a doctor if they see certain warning signs. “It’s difficult when you’re worried you’re wasting a GP’s time,” he says. “But if you know something is wrong, don’t hesitate to have it checked.”
For young people between the ages of 13 and 24, the Teenage Cancer Trust lists the five most common warning signs:
The German Cancer Society names other signs for everyone:
If you notice any of these changes, experts recommend seeing a doctor. “In most cases, however, it is not cancer, but other diseases,” writes the German Cancer Society. However, if there is a malignant tissue change, the doctor may be able to detect it at an early stage. This means there is a good chance that the disease can be cured. For some types of cancer, such as testicular cancer, cure rates of over 90 percent are possible if they are detected in good time.
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