Get ballsy about your health

Why knowing how your testicals are feeling can save your life.

No one likes talking about cancer – especially if it’s the type that affects your privates, but being in touch with your balls could be a lifesaver, especially if you are between the ages of 15 and 35. 

While testicular cancer is seen as a rare form of this dread disease, it is still the most common cancer affecting males between the ages of 15 and 35, with 33 being the average age of men diagnosed. While repercussions can be severe, this type of cancer luckily has a high cure rate, but it is crucial to start treatment in the early stages. That’s why a regular testicular self-examination (TSE) is the most effective and important way for men to detect this disease before it’s too late…and it only takes a minute. Here is the lowdown:

  1. When do you start doing TSEs? Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) recommends a monthly TSE starting from the age of 15. It is important for you to be familiar with the look, feel and shape of their testicles, to help notice if there are changes. 
  2. What are you looking out for? If you notice any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any changes in size, shape or consistency of either testicle, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Besides a regular TSE, it is also important to raise awareness about testicular cancer by encouraging your male friends, family members and spouses to do a regular self examination and to talk about it openly to help curb the awkwardness. Or you make a ballsy move and join the Hollard Daredevil Run – an annual event that sees thousands of men running 5km dressed only in purple speedos to run cancer “outta their hoods” on 30 September. The run takes place anywhere in South Africa or at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, entries cost R160 and all proceeds go to CANSA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa.

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