Countdown: Hewer recalls time he thought he was having a stroke
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Research published at the European Stroke Organisation Conference has found rates of young people experiencing strokes are on the rise.
Speaking about the results Dr Jamie Verhoeven said: “Stroke in the young differs from stroke in older patients, and one of the major differences is that stroke in the young has a higher proportion of cryptogenic stroke.”
Cryptogenic strokes are a type of stroke where there is no clear cause.
Verhoeven says these strokes occur “in over one third of patients”.
Furthermore, Verhoeven’s research has also identified young stroker patients as being at greater risk of developing cancer; he considered whether cryptogenic strokes signal the presence of cancer.
Verhoeven said: “If this hypothesis was true, then it would be more obvious in young patients who have a higher incidence of cryptogenic stroke.”
With regard to an increased risk of cancer, younger stroke patients were more than twice as likely to develop cancer later in life.
Verhoeven added: “The younger patients have a higher [risk] of cancer than older patients, and this risk is most evident in the first one to two years after stroke, but remains statistically significant up to five to eight years later.”
Cancer in young people has been in the spotlight in recent days after Coronation Street actor Jack James Ryan shared his experiences of testicular cancer.
Ryan was studying at drama school when he discovered the lump and has since undergone treatment.
Speaking about his experience, Ryan said: “I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I did before, but I don’t now.”
After seeing his GP, Jack was referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery and treatment.
Testicular cancer is one of the least common cancers, but still requires the utmost vigilance.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on one of the testicles; a lump will normally be about the size of a pea at first, but this can grow.
Other symptoms of testicular cancer are:
• An increase in the firmness of a testicle
• A difference in appearance between one testicle and the other
• A dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum
• A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
The NHS recommends a man should see their GP if they notice any change in their testicles, even if there is no lump.
Sometimes pain in the testicles can be linked to stress.
Furthermore, “lumps within the scrotum can have many different causes, and testicular cancer is rare”.
More information about testicular and other male cancers are on the NHS website.
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