Words by Smiley Team
A testicular cancer charity is teaming up with football clubs around Scotland to break the stigmas around men’s health.
Cahonas is urging men to check their testicles for LIFE – Lumps, Irregularities, Firmness, and Enlargement. Now, sports clubs around Scotland are signing up to be part of the campaign and spread the message.
“We’re on a mission to take the private out of private parts," says CEO Ritchie Marshall, "to tackle a risk facing all men in Scotland.
“We have kicked off a campaign to cut out the stigma around male anatomy and make self-checking part of every man’s monthly routine — not just for Testicular Cancer Awareness month, but for L.I.F.E. If you don’t know it is testicular cancer awareness month, hopefully you do now.”
When caught early, testicular cancer has a 98% survival rate, but many men don’t know how to spot the signs, due to a lack of conversation around men’s health. Testicular cancer is rarely spoken about despite being the most common cancer among men aged 15 to 45.
Around 2,400 men are diagnosed every year in the UK, which works out at around six a day.
Before the drive for sports clubs to get involved, Snooker champion John Higgins and Star Wars actor Mark Hamill both backed Cahonas Scotland in 2021.
“Sport has always been my thing — right from an eight-year-old watching Alex Ferguson’s Scotland side at the ’86 World Cup to a much- older-year-old hoping we can make it to the big stage once again," says Ritchie.
“That’s why I believe in sport’s power to change, and this April we’re calling on every sports club in Scotland to join in with the #checkyourballsforLIFE campaign. We’re very proud to have some of Scottish sport’s biggest heroes along for the ride.”
Ritchie felt inspired after seeing the conversations change and stigma lessen around breast cancer, after massive campaigns over the last decade.
Opening up those conversations with men can be a challenge, but Ritchie hopes that it can stretch beyond sports clubs.
“We need testicular cancer to be a topic of conversation started in places where people feel comfortable talking — from bus trips to bar stools — and that’s why we’re starting with sports clubs," he says.
“With the support of the sporting world we can change the game for men — and their families."
FIND OUT MORE: You can get involved in the campaign and request an information pack from Cahonas.
DONATE: Cahonas relies heavily on donations for their education campaigns – support them here.