Cancer causes detour but doesn’t derail medical school plans

Medical student Kenneth Maniscalco works with other students in class at the LSU Medical School's anatomy lab. (Jim Hudelson, The Times)

Testicular cancer sent Shreveporter Kenneth Maniscalco Jr. to medical school several years ahead of schedule.

Athletic and a touch daredevil, Maniscalco hoped to become a Navy SEAL. He worked out, ran and ran through gymnastics routines to keep fit while a sophomore at Louisiana Tech University. Sudden nausea and pain during a run in the fall of 2007 ultimately derailed his military plans.

“I was feeling gut-wrenching pain,” he recalled.

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer among boys and men ages 15 to 35. About 7,500 to 8,000 people are diagnosed with it each year in the United States. Cyclist Lance Armstrong brought new awareness to the illness when he was diagnosed with it in 1996.

A trip to the emergency room led to an appointment with a urologist who said the symptoms could signal an infection or cancer. Antibiotics didn’t lessen the pain. Blood testing eventually revealed that he had cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor after taking finals. His oncologist recommended a wait-and-see approach, but Maniscalco wanted to be sure the cancer was gone.Read more at the