Testicular cancer ranks among the most curable forms of cancer, with a survival rate that can reach 99%. Early detection obviously plays a key role–but unfortunately, for many men, awkwardness trumps the obvious.
As far as uncomfortable medical exams go, having a doctor cup and mush your balls is one notch below checking for prostate cancer. Because the awkward factor can lead to men avoiding a potentially life-saving procedure, a New Zealand cancer organization teamed up with creative agency FCB to create the “Testimatic,” a discreet booth where patients can get their everything checked out without the dreaded eye contact.
Testicular cancer is actually the most common cancer in New Zealand men between the ages of 15 and 39. So Tony Clewett, executive creative director at FCB, saw an opportunity to raise awareness in a very attention-grabbing way. Men step into the Testimatic, drop trou, and a urologist or general practitioner reaches through a hole and performs the exams in 30 seconds or less.
“The aim was to come up with a concept that was quirky enough to work as a conversation starter with men, giving us the opportunity to explain the importance of men self-checking regularly,” said Clewett in a statement.
The Testimatic premiered at the New Zealand expo Big Boy Toys earlier this month, and more than 170 men got their testicles checked. The plan is to take the Testimatic on the road around New Zealand with the hope of educating men on how to examine themselves for testicular cancer.
“We see the Testimatic as a great way to get men thinking about a serious health concern,” Clewett says. “The message we’re trying to spread is that you don’t actually need to go to your doctor, you can check your own testicles and make it part of a monthly routine–for example, in the shower. If there’s anything you’re concerned about, don’t wait. Go and see your GP.”