"I knew nothing about it. It was a complete surprise," said Solder, who was diagnosed in April 2014 and had no history of it in his family. "You Google something like that and it kind of scares you, so I was like, 'I'm not going to freak out about this.' Had I not had a routine physical, I probably wouldn't have checked it, saying, 'Oh, it's just in my head, I'm going to be fine.'"
Doctors determined the cancer was restricted to one testicle and hadn't spread, removed the testicle, and Solder -- who lauded the Patriots for being "super cautious" throughout the process -- played every game and served as quarterback Tom Brady's blindside protector in a season that culminated with a Super Bowl XLIX championship.
Solder, 27, came forward with his story hoping it could educate others about the importance of early detection as April is national Testicular Cancer Awareness month.
"I was completely healthy, I'm a professional athlete. It can happen to anybody," he said. "Make sure you get yourself checked out, especially young men, because that's who it's really targeted toward."