Early signs of testicular cancer in back as BBC’s Gordon Sparks dies from disease

Former BBC Radio Devon presenter Gordon Sparks has sadly died after a long battle with cancer.

Gordon, 61, was admitted to a hospice after his condition deteriorated.

Affectionally known as Sparksy, who was the voice of Argyle radio commentary, he had been battling testicular cancer 17 years prior.

It is unknown if it was testicular cancer that ultimately took his life as reports state he died of cancer, but he had told fans that his tumour had got “slightly bigger”.

He added that his lungs were not responding to antibiotics either.

Early signs of the testicular cancer to spot can be found in either the back or the testicles.

What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is a less common type of cancer, being the 17th most common in the UK.

The disease mostly affects men between the ages of 15 and 49 and unlike other cancers, is more prevalent in younger men compared to older ones, with a quarter of men underestimating their risk or passing it off as being “too young” to be at risk.

According to Cancer Research UK, around one in 215 males will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

“Testicular cancer is not clearly linked to any preventable risk factors,” added the health charity.

The problem with testicular cancer is that even if it has not spread to other parts of the body, the majority of men may not have symptoms immediately.

Experts warn either suffering with back or chest pain could indicate your risk of testicular cancer.

Back pain
The pain associated with testicular cancer is said to affect a person’s lower back.

The lower back pain from the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, which are bean-sized collections of immune cells in the back of the belly.

“This can cause backache or a dull ache in the lower tummy,” adds Cancer Research UK.

Lump and pain in testicles
A lump or swelling in part of one testicle is the most common symptom of testicular cancer, according to experts

Cancer Research adds that “it can be as small as a pea but may be much larger.

“You may notice an unusual difference between one testicle and the other.”

Other early signs of testicular cancer include a heavy scrotum or discomfort or pain in the ball-sack.

Gordon was the voice of Argyle radio for an impressive 32 years.

He was a lifelong Argyle FC fan, with his support earning him a press box at Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park stadium named after him.

Tributes and support have poured in since his passing, with crowds singing in his honour at the away game in Milton Keynes yesterday.

Paul Boardman wrote: “Gordon Sparks. You were probably too humble to understand the love and respect that people had for you. Your personality, your character, your warmth transcends everything and that’s what I will remember. A great friend, a class act, a great man.

“A job well done, Sir. God bless. May you Rest in Peace Big Man. Proud and honoured to have sung your name yesterday, thoughts and prayers to your Loved ones.”

If you suspect you may be at risk of testicular cancer, it’s important to speak to your doctor for the relevant tests and next steps.