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The Chestnut Appeal

The Chestnut Appeal believes that every person suffering & affected by Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer and Penile Cancer should get the help and support they need.

Contacts details

Address:Derriford Hospital
Derriford Road
Telephone number: 01752 430840
Get Directions View on Google Maps

Men's Health suffers from an imbalance, and at the core of our work is highlighting the most common cancer in men; Prostate Cancer. As well as this we also raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and Penile Cancer, two other quite treatable cancers that sadly if left can be devastating. 

We believe it is vital to get more men talking about their health and taking action when they feel like something could be wrong, and a lot of our time is spent out in the community giving free talks and seminars about these three cancers. 

Join our support groups and meet other people

As with all of our support groups, this service is totally free of charge. The aim of the meetings is to support each other, as in real life, it's a patient led support group, so you tell us what you need and we'll be there to help you for as long as you need.

It's also a great opportunity to meet other people from across the region who are going through, or have gone through the same procedures as you.

Our support is open to patients, family and friends. Anyone who wants to gain knowledge and access our support is very welcome.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer originates in the prostate gland, a male sex organ situated beneath the bladder. It's roughly the size of a chestnut and surrounds the urethra, the tube responsible for carrying urine out of the bladder. The prostate plays a role in semen production.

Unlike many other cancers, small cancerous areas within the prostate are quite common and can remain inactive for many years. Approximately one-third of men over 50 have some cancer cells in their prostate, and nearly all men over 80 have a small portion of prostate cancer.

Most of these cancers progress slowly and may never pose issues, especially in older men. However, in a minority of cases, prostate cancer can grow more rapidly and, in some instances, spread to other body parts, notably the bones. If you have concerns or need a diagnosis, it's advisable to consult your GP for guidance.

Prostate cancer symptoms

One of the problems related to prostate cancer is that, in its early stages, it often does not cause symptoms.

When symptoms do occur they may include any of the following:

  • Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
  • Passing urine more often and/or at night
  • Difficulty getting started and interruption of flow
  • Discomfort whilst passing urine
  • A feeling of not having emptied the bladder fully
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or stiffness in the back, hips or pelvis
  • These symptoms can be caused by other conditions that are less serious than prostate cancer.

Please discuss any worries or concerns with your GP.

What is penile cancer?

Penile cancer, although rare, should be detected early for successful treatment. It can develop on the skin or within the penis. Approximately 630 cases are reported in the UK annually, with most diagnoses occurring in men over 60. However, men in their 30s and 40s can also be affected.

Penile cancer has several types, depending on the originating cell type. The most prevalent ones are:

  • Squamous cell penile cancer accounts for over 90% of cases and starts in the surface cells of the penis.
  • Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a specific form of squamous cell cancer, where only the skin cells of the penis are affected, and it hasn't spread deeper.
  • Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that begins in the glandular cells of the penis responsible for producing sweat.
  • Melanoma of the penis is when the cancer forms in the skin cells responsible for skin coloration.

Please discuss any worries or concerns with your GP.

Penile cancer symptoms

You should be aware of any abnormalities or signs of penile cancer, including:

  • a growth or sore on the penis that doesn't heal within 4 weeks
  • bleeding from the penis or from under the foreskin
  • a foul-smelling discharge
  • thickening of the skin of the penis or foreskin that makes it difficult to draw back the foreskin (phimosis)
  • a change in the colour of the skin of the penis or foreskin
  • a rash on the penis

If you experience these symptoms, it's important to see your GP as soon as possible. It's unlikely they'll be caused by penile cancer, but they need to be investigated.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer, while less common, typically affects men between 15 and 49 years old. Recognizing potential symptoms is crucial, such as painless swelling or a lump in a testicle, or any changes in their shape or texture. It's essential to be familiar with what's normal for your body. Get acquainted with your own body, and if you detect any alterations, consult your GP promptly.

The most prevalent type of testicular cancer is "germ cell testicular cancer," which constitutes approximately 95% of cases. Germ cells are responsible for sperm production.

Within germ cell testicular cancer, two main subtypes exist:

  • Seminomas have become more frequent in the last two decades and now make up 50 to 55% of testicular cancers.
  • Non-seminomas comprise the majority of the remaining cases and include teratomas, embryonal carcinomas, choriocarcinomas, and yolk sac tumors. Both subtypes generally respond well to chemotherapy.

Some less common types of testicular cancer are:

  • Leydig cell tumors, accounting for roughly 1 to 3% of cases.
  • Sertoli cell tumors, making up around 1% of cases.
  • Lymphoma, found in about 4% of cases.

Please discuss any worries or concerns with your GP.

Testicular cancer symptoms

Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in one of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.

The swelling or lump can be about the size of a pea but may be larger.

Most lumps or swellings in the scrotum aren't in the testicle and aren't a sign of cancer, but they should never be ignored.

Testicular cancer can also cause other symptoms, including:

  • an increase in the firmness of a testicle
  • a difference between one testicle and the other
  • a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
  • a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum



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Based: Plymouth
  • Everyone, regardless of age
  • Cancer

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