Sydney dad discovers whopping mango-sized tumour in back


Discovering you have a mango-sized tumour would leave most people thinking the worst.

But despite finding out two tumours had grown in his back after spreading from testicular cancer, Alan King managed to stay optimistic.

The Sydney father-of-three had been experiencing an “excruciating pain” in his leg in the lead up to Christmas 2018.

It turned out the tumour was pressing on a nerve in his back and a biopsy revealed the source to be testicular.

“I’m a fairly optimistic guy so I was reasonably confident it would go,” Mr King said.

“It does knock you for six getting a diagnosis like that.”

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Kate Lyons and Alan King with children Michael, Angus and Issy.
media_cameraKate Lyons and Alan King with children Michael, Angus and Issy.

Mr King and wife Kate Lyons are sharing their story ahead of a free webinar hosted by Cancer Council NSW on Thursday night, entitled ‘Life changes after cancer – When it all falls apart’.

Mr King had to undergo intense chemotherapy for three months but then found out there was residual cancer left.

Aside from also having a testicle removed, he had to have surgery to remove the leftover cancer but he was then hit with another blow – there was still signs of the disease there.

“They couldn’t really dig it all out because it was near a bunch of nerves so I had to have radiotherapy to clean it up,” he said.

“I think the most difficult part was after the surgery it was still there. This cancer has an 80 per cent survival.

“I was one of the few people who had to go through every stage (of treatment).

“I started worrying maybe I would be part of the small per cent that doesn’t recover from this.”

Mrs Lyons said her favourite photo was of Alan sporting a shaved head with the kids, Michael, who was 12 at the time, Angus, 9, and Issy, 7.

The family decided to shave Mr King’s head and the kids coloured their hair.
media_cameraThe family decided to shave Mr King’s head and the kids coloured their hair.

“Soon after we told the kids what was going on we gave them a chance to ask the doctors any questions and our daughter asked if he would lose his hair and started bawling her eyes out,” she said.

“She couldn’t face the idea this was life of death situation, she hung on to the hair.

“At first it was all a big shock. I’m not as optimistic as Alan. My mind goes into disaster theories on what could go wrong, having young kids as well.”

Mrs Lyons said she had to accept help from family and friends to get through, and turned to the Cancer Council’s resources for support.

Mr King got the all clear in January.

“It’s a relief not having to worry about having cancer still,” he said.

Originally published as Dad’s shock over mango-sized tumour



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