Dudes: Check your nuts

09 September 2013

Calgary -

Nuts, balls, family jewels, love spuds – whatever you call them, the Canadian Cancer Society wants to make sure guys get to know them.

Guys between the ages of 15 and 29 are more likely to be diagnosed with testicular cancer than any other cancer. The good news is that catching testicular cancer early greatly improves the odds of successful treatment. That’s why the Society is reaching out to guys this Men’s Cancer Health Awareness Month with a new video called Nutiquette: A dude’s guide to checking his nuts.

“Our message to guys is: Don’t ignore your nuts,” says Graham Harder with the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division. “There’s etiquette for everything, including three proper steps for checking your nuts for testicular cancer – or, nutiquette.”

As the video shows, the three steps of nutiquette are:

  1. Find a place that is warm and safe, like your bathroom after a shower.
  2. Gently feel around for anything unusual.
  3. See your doctor if you’re feeling any lumps, swelling, bumps, pain or discomfort.

And when you’re talking about balls with younger guys, a little humour goes a long way.

“We don’t want to nag guys into taking charge of their below-the-belt health – that’s not going to resonate with teenagers and guys in their 20s,” Harder says. “The Society really wants to engage with guys and have them help us share this important message. There’s no better way to do that than write a funny, catchy tune about feeling up your balls.”

But make no mistake. While the Society is taking a lighthearted approach with this campaign, cancer is no joke.

Even though testicular cancer tends to have a very high survival rate, it’s still a life-altering challenge for any guy who is diagnosed with the disease. Just ask Dexter Yap. The Calgarian was 25 years old, starting a new career, and building a house with his girlfriend (now his wife) when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

“With one word, everything turned upside down,” Yap says. “Suddenly I wasn’t sure if I could build this house. I didn’t know if I would ever get married, have kids or if I could even look toward the future.”

Yap found the cancer himself and for that he credits an unlikely sort of awareness campaign. He had just started a new job at a medical IT firm and one of the first case studies he had to review was about a guy with testicular cancer.

“That night when I was taking a shower, I did check and noticed a lump. I immediately booked an appointment with my family doctor, who then referred me to a specialist. Who knows what would’ve happened to me if I didn’t have that job?”

Yap had surgery to remove the testicle, followed by three rounds of chemotherapy. The first round of chemo had little affect on him but by the third round, Yap had no energy and barely enough strength to stand.

Yap, who has been in remission since 2006, is thrilled to help the Society raise awareness about testicular cancer.

“Before I was diagnosed in my 20s, I thought I was invincible and untouchable,” Yap says. “Guys need to know that cancer is a very real threat if not treated early. And men need to know that it’s OK to be vulnerable and scared.”

What can people do to help the Society get the ball rolling on this important awareness campaign?

  • Watch Nutiquette and share the video with friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.
  • Watch the Society’s Twitter feed and Facebook page. Retweet the Society and share our posts with your followers and friends. And go ahead, send the Society your nuttiest puns.
  • Guys: Don’t ignore your balls. Check your baggage at the door and go see a doctor if you feel any lumps, bumps, pain or discomfort in your testicles.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. We are working together with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).

For more information, please contact:

Paula Trotter

Communications Coordinator

Phone: 403-541-2339