A MOTHER still grieving over the loss of her son to testicular cancer has called on men to overcome their embarrassment and talk about the issue before it kills them.
Denise Brooks's son Grant was 26 when he died in February last year of cancer which originated in his testicles and later spread to his lungs and heart.
As the anniversary of his death approaches, Mrs Brooks wants to try to prevent other deaths.
"In December (2010) he mentioned being hot and I said: 'Well it is hot' and didn't really think too much about it," Mrs Brooks said.
"In January (2011) I ran into him at Torquay Hotel and he told me that he had been sick, but that he had gotten over it.
"Then he came to work with a face like a balloon."
Mrs Brooks said subsequent visits to the hospital and doctors, and tests and scans did not uncover the problem.
Meanwhile, Grant's health continued to deteriorate.
He eventually became so sick that he was transferred to hospital in Brisbane but later died.
Mrs Brooks said that even though her grief was still fresh she had decided to try to help other men understand the risks of testicular cancer.
To this end she penned a simple handwritten note telling her son's story and put it in the back window of her Ford Festiva next to a sticker that was made by his friends to honour his memory.
"People are always coming up to me asking about it and so I take the time to tell Grant's story in the hope that it might help," she said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.