Brazil says “Bollocks to Cancer!”

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Senor Testiculo

Say hello to Brazil’s newest mascot – Senhor Testiculo! He’s here to get you guys to check your chuckies and help defeat the current rise in Testicular Cancer across the Americas.

It is one of the weirdest things I ‘ve seen for a while, but if it gets the message across in a fun way and helps to save lies then I’m all for it. If you Google him you’ll find several photos online of him – some with kids and families which I think is great to remove the taboo there is around male cancers like testicular and prostate. And things are improving here in the UK too with more celebrities getting involved each year in raising awareness of these problems. The FA in particular have been a great supporter of the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) over the last few years and many celebs have been involved in campaigns and posters to raise the awareness of these conditions.

This weekend in Brighton there is the Big Ball Race on the beach in which runners (including Fatboy Slim himself) have to run along the pebbles for three miles carrying two inflatable red balls. The aim is to make it to the end of the race with both balls in tact – not subtle at all! But that’s the point we need to make these diseases more visible (not like that!) so that men know the symptoms to look for and be aware of.

The thing with Balls is us men like to fiddle about with them anyway so what harm does it do to have a wee check round them and make sure there’s nothing unusual down there – and if there is head to the doctors to make sure it’s nothing to worry about. Simple message right? You’d think that schools could be passing it on then, wouldn’t you? I spoke with senior pupils just before the exam leave started and found out that they hadn’t been told how to check themselves or what to look for. Now I’m not the shy type so I told them to some shocked faces – didn’t demonstrate so don’t worry! The thing is that girls are aware of both Breast and Cervical Cancers early on in their social education but for some unknown reason schools are not enough bollocks for my liking.

From the age of around fourteen boys can develop testicular cancer – now in a secondary school that’s around two-thirds of the male population that could potentially be effected by the disease but they aren’t told this. Usually this window of inopportunity lasts until the mid forties/early fifties and then travels round the back to the prostate. It’s the most treatable cancer and the one that has the highest survival rate so it’s not scaring the kids it’s preparing them for life – isn’t that their job? I also disagree that boys and girls are still separated in personal and social education when talking about each other’s “bits” because we need to know these things to support each other when we get older.

So boys, next time you’re in the shower of bath an you’ve relaxed a bit, roll them around between you thumb and forefinger and if you are not sure about what you find go to the doctor. If I hadn’t done that then I wouldn’t be alive today. So boys: Think bollocks, speak bollocks and feel bollocks!

JD

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