A challenge to South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winners to strip down to their underwear to raise awareness about testicular cancer is gaining traction.
Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk took to social media on Wednesday to start a campaign dubbed the #FafChallenge to encourage men to go for early screening to get their genitals checked for signs of testicular cancer.
“Be ballsy enough to check your balls! Testicular cancer is curable if caught and treated early enough!” de Klerk wrote on Twitter.
The initiative is in collaboration with Pharmaceuticals Company Cipla South Africa, which has a website that offers instructions on how to self-examine unusual lumps in testicles, and useful information on testicular cancer.
“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,” Cipla CEO Paul Miller said.
De Klerk’s now-famous gimmick of posing in his SA flag-themed underwear began after South Africa beat England on November 2 to win the Rugby World Cup final in Japan. De Klerk celebrated the win in his underwear and even met Prince Harry in the locker rooms later on dressed only in it.
So far, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi have joined the challenge and posted photos of themselves in their underwear.
Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells in one or both testicles become malignant and multiply in an uncontrolled manner.
Early-stage testicular cancer can be detected through a simple self-examination.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in young men (15-49) in South Africa, according to the Cancer Association of South Africa.