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Cancer does not discriminate. Nobody understands this better than Zachary Littleton.

Originally from Montegut, a small town in rural Terrebonne Parish, Zachary was focused on what any young man in his thirties is focused on – family, friends, career and endless possibilities for the future. Like most young people his age, Zachary felt invincible. Then, one evening while taking a shower, he felt a lump. He noticed an abnormality in his left testicle. Having just returned to work from an injury and worried about repairing his car, Zachary brushed his concerns aside for nearly a year before he finally decided to consult with a doctor – Dr. Hayden Lafaye, a urologist at Terrebonne General Health System in Houma.

At the age of 30, Zachary was diagnosed with testicular cancer and his world came to a screeching halt.

“When I got the news, I felt as though I had gotten hit by a ton of bricks,” said Zachary. “You just never think something like that is going to happen to you – especially at my age. No one in my family had ever been diagnosed with that type of cancer. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Dr. Lafaye removed Zachary’s left testicle in the Outpatient Pavilion at Terrebonne General. For further consultation, he was then referred to Dr. Sukesh Manthri, medical oncologist, Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. Dr. Manthri discovered that Zachary had a stage 1A high-risk. non-seminoma germ cell tumor that would likely require aggressive treatment. With a few different options available, Zachary ultimately decided on treatment involving one cycle of adjuvant BEP chemotherapy (bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin) to reduce the risk of relapse.

“I can’t say enough about the incredible care I have received at Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center,” said Zachary. “Dr. Lafaye and Dr. Manthri have been amazing. Both doctors have gone out of their way to make sure I had everything I needed. They were very approachable and patiently took time to explain all my options for treatment.”

Zachary LittletonAs he undergoes treatment, one thing helping Zachary through chemotherapy is his video game console.

“I don’t know if these types of accommodations are available at other facilities, but here at Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, I’ve really appreciated being able to bring my video game console to the infusion center. For me, video games and movies serve as a fun distraction and take my mind off the drip from the medicine.”

Now living in Baldwin, Zachary’s recovery is going well and he is looking forward to getting back to all the activities he was busy with before his cancer diagnosis. As for any advice he might share with others? Don’t wait to visit a doctor if you notice anything abnormal.

“Despite all I’ve been through lately, I know how fortunate I am considering how long I waited before visiting a doctor. The cancer could have spread to my lungs, and then I would be in an even worse situation. So, I encourage you, no matter how old you are, to take advantage of cancer screenings and other preventive services. It could just save your life.”