No one can deny that Springbok Francois “Faf” de Klerk meeting Britain’s Prince Harry, after winning the Rugby World Cup, wearing nothing but his patriotic speedo, was a ballsy move. Using his viral fame for good, the scrumhalf is collaborating with Cipla South Africa to challenge all men – even the Prince himself – to improve their personal “ball skills” when it comes to checking for signs of testicular cancer.
While one of the most common cancers in men between the ages of 15 and 49, if diagnosed in the early stages, the survival rate for testicular cancer is 99%. Despite this, the number of South African men being diagnosed with late-stage cancer is on the rise.
Unlike prostate cancer (which requires a blood test or a digital rectal exam), early-stage testicular cancer can be detected through a simple self-examination. Once a month, after a shower, check your testes for anything painful or unusual. “An early diagnosis is the key to receiving potentially curable treatment. A significant impact can be made by simply increasing the awareness of self-examination amongst South African men,” says Cipla CEO, Paul Miller.
Posting on Instagram, De Klerk poked a bit of fun at himself to raise awareness about this very serious topic. “I’m challenging all South African men to be ballsy and tackle testicular cancer by feeling for any irregular lumps, swelling or pain,” says De Klerk.
De Klerk is challenging Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi; centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel; the first South African to score a try in a World Cup final, Makazole Mapimpi; Rugby World Cup final try scorer, Cheslin Kolbe; and hooker, Malcolm Marx. Together, they are championing the #FafChallenge, encouraging their other teammates, along with all other South Africans, to scrum around this important cause.
The challenge itself is simple: first, do a testicular self-examination, then post a Faf-inspired selfie with the caption, “I’m ballsy – I checked”, and challenge someone to post a picture to continue with the challenge and spread awareness about this important cause. Remember to include #FafChallenge, #ballskills, #CancerAwareness and tag @CiplaRSA so you can help to create awareness.
Miller said: “It was incredible to see South Africans unite in celebration of the Springboks’ victory. Like with the Rugby World Cup, we need to have a common goal: to raise awareness around testicular cancer. So, let’s stop being embarrassed and man up to start a crucial conversation. Early diagnosis saves lives, and as Cipla, we’re trying to ensure that people live a long and healthy life.”
Lucy Balona, spokesperson for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) adds; “We’re excited to partner on this campaign to help reach men with an important message of early detection and getting educated about their health. We encourage all men to not ‘Faf’ this one up and help raise awareness and fight testicular cancer.”
For important tips on how to up your ball skills, visit www.fafchallenge.com.
Be ballsy enough to check your balls! Testicular cancer is curable if caught and treated early enough! Check out https://t.co/9UunNLyTFd for some important tip & tricks on how to up your ball skills!! pic.twitter.com/aWgxEsuHa1
— Faf de klerk (@fafdeklerk) November 13, 2019