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Men's Health 2021

Rugby star looks to raise awareness for testicular cancer

Image: Stevie Schweighardt

Alex Corbisiero (pictured)

Ambassador, The Urology Foundation

In the autumn of 2019 life was looking good for former England and Lions rugby star Alex Corbisiero, when he found out he had testicular cancer.  


Retired from professional rugby, Alex Corbisiero was working as a pundit for NBC Sports and recently engaged to fellow rugby player, Abby Gustaitis, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. 

Alex says: “Due to the fact my father and uncle have both had testicular cancer at a similar age to me, I’ve always been aware of checking.”   

Alex had an operation to remove the affected testicle in November 2019, followed by a dose of chemotherapy the following January. He then returned to work before the pandemic stopped play.   

Testicular cancer has a high survival rate provided that it is caught early, hence the need for men to check their themselves regularly.

“Being locked down for four months, I trained every day. I felt like I got back into peak condition,” he says. However, last summer he developed an acute pain in his abdomen and a CT scan found a mass in his lymph node. “I didn’t expect them to say that my cancer was back” he recalls.  

As a result, Alex underwent nine weeks of chemotherapy but says he refused to allow himself a “victim mindset”. The start of 2021 sees him back on NBC and returned to full fitness. 

He is keen to push the message that testicular cancer has a high survival rate provided that it is caught early, hence the need for men to check their themselves regularly. 

He is now going on to focus on increased awareness and fundraising for the condition. “We need to understand why some men, like me, suffer a relapse which is why I want to fund more research. There are men that are going to follow after me that go through this and if I can make the road for them easier to travel, it will be so worthwhile. I think it will be a lasting legacy,” he says. 

Alex is fundraising to support research into improving the diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer http://bit.ly/3bbQjJj 

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