THE TESTICULAR CANCER SOCIETY’S “WALL STREET BALLS” SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

The “most checked balls on Earth” are right here in New York City. That’s according to a new social media campaign from the Testicular Cancer Society, using a lighthearted message to bring attention to a very serious issue. The group is using the famous Wall Street Bull statue to raise awareness on the importance of checking yourself for testicular cancer and decrease the stigma towards the disease. Over 40% of American men never bother to check themselves for testicular cancer even though doctors recommend a self-examination once a month. Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer for men between the ages of 15 and 35, and when it is caught early enough, it has a 99% survival rate, highlighting the importance of frequent self-examinations.

Aired on November 16, 2022

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

NEW YORK CITY IS HOME TO THE, QUOTE, MOST CHECKED BALLS ON EARTH.

SO NOW THAT I'VE GOT YOUR ATTENTION, THAT'S THE NEW AD CAMPAIGN COMING FROM THE TESTICULAR CANCER SOCIETY.

THEY ARE USING HUMOR AND THE FAMOUS WALL STREET BULL STATUE TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-EXAMINATION.

ACCORDING TO NEW RESEARCH FROM THE TESTICULAR CANCER SOCIETY, OVER 40% OF AMERICAN MEN NEVER BOTHER TO CHECK THEMSELVES FOR TESTICULAR CANCER.

THIS DESPITE THE FACT THAT DOCTORS RECOMMEND A SELF-EXAMINATION AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH.

TESTICULAR CANCER IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF CANCER FOR MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 35.

WHEN IT'S CAUGHT EARLY ENOUGH, IT HAS A 99% SURVIVAL RATE.

HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF FREQUENT SELF-EXAMINATION.

JOINING US NOW TO DISCUSS WHY YOU SHOULD BE CHECKING YOURSELF OR YOUR PARTNER PERHAPS DOING THAT FOR TESTICULAR CANCER AND TO HIGHLIGHT HIS ORGANIZATION'S NEW CAMPAIGN IS MIKE CRAYCRAFT.

MIKE IS A SURVIVOR AND THE FOUNDER OF THE TESTICULAR CANCER SOCIETY.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I THINK TO GIVE US A SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE AND BACKGROUND, IT MAKES SENSE TO START WITH YOUR STORY ABOUT YOUR OWN CONDITION, HOW YOU FOUND IT AND TREATMENT AS HOW YOU ARE NOW.

SURE.

I'M ACTUALLY A CLINICAL PHARMACIST BY TRADE.

HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

I WAS LIVING DOWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA RIGHT AFTER HURRICANE WILMA.

WENT TO ADJUST MYSELF AND FELT A LUMP.

I KNEW IT WAS CANCER.

ENTERED A CYCLE OF FEAR, DENIAL AND NOT WANTING TO UPSET OTHERS SAYING, I'M SICK.

I REMAINED SILENT ABOUT IT.

CONVINCED MYSELF I WAS GOING TO DIE, EVEN THROUGH EW MY OWN GOI AWAY PARTY.

WENT TO THE DOCTOR SEVEN MONTHS LATER AND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE ONE DISEASE.

I WAS ABLE TO HAVE THE TESTICLE REMOVED AND MONITORED TO MAKE SURE IT DIDN'T COME BACK.

TALK ABOUT THEN HOW YOUR EXPERIENCE DROVE YOU TO THE CREATION NOW OF THE ORGANIZATION.

I MEAN, IT WAS OUT OF NEED.

THERE WEREN'T VERY MUCH RE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR TESTICULAR CANCER IN 2006.

WHAT WAS THERE WAS HARD TO FIND.

WITH MY SURVIVOR EXPERIENCE IN HEALTH CARE, PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, I THOUGHT I WAS UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO CHANGE THAT.

THAT'S WHAT WE WENT ABOUT DOING.

WHAT'S THE IDEA BEHIND THIS SOCIETY?

REALLY, WE ARE INCREASING AWARENESS AND EDUCATION ABOUT TESTICULAR CANCER AS WELL AS PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE DISEASE, WHETHER THAT'S THE ONE DIAGNOSED, CAREGIVER OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.

ONE OF THE THINGS I SAW THAT IS MENTIONED HERE IN TERMS OF THE PURPOSE IS FOCUSING ON THE CURE AND YOU USE THE TERM, AND THE BURDEN OF THE CURED.

THAT MIGHT SOUND CURIOUS TO PEOPLE.

WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY -- WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE BURDEN OF THE CURED?

YEARS AGO, A SURVIVOR SAID, THE DOCTORS CURED MY CANCER BUT THEY DIDN'T CURE MY SOUL.

WITH IT BEING A YOUNG CANCER, THERE'S A LOT OF LIFE TO LIVE AFTER DIAGNOSIS.

IT'S NOT JUST GETTING THROUGH THAT SHORT-TERM BUMP OF IMMEDIATE TREATMENT BUT IT'S MAKING SURE THE TREATMENTS DON'T CAUSE LONG-TERM IMPACTS DOWN THE ROAD.

I LUCKED OUT.

I HAD STAGE ONE DISEASE AND WAS ABLE TO GET BY WITH SURGERY.

OTHERS NEED CHEMOTHERAPY.

THERE'S LONG-TERM AFFECTS TO THAT.

THERE'S SURGICAL PROCEDURES THAT CREATE LONG-TERM AFFECTS.

IT'S THE BURDEN OF THE CURED IS MAKING SURE PEOPLE HAVE A LONG, HEALTHY LIFE AFTER DIAGNOSIS.

YOU TALK ABOUT A CONCERN IN HOW IT MIGHT IMPACT PEOPLE, ABOUT A STIGMA THAT MIGHT BE SURROUNDING THE NOTION OF TESTICULAR CANCER.

EXPLAIN THAT.

WELL, I MEAN, THE CONVERSATIONS AREN'T NORMALIZED ABOUT TESTICULAR CANCER.

IF YOU THINK TO YOURSELF, IF YOU ARE AT WORK OR AROUND A GROUP OF FRIENDS AND SOMEONE SAYS BREAST CANCER, IT'S OPEN AND TALKED ABOUT.

IF SOMEONE SAYS TESTICULAR CANCER, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HEARD IT IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT AND IT'S USUALLY HUSH-HUSH.

I THINK THAT'S THE BIGGEST PROOF THAT WE JUST -- CANCER IS CANCER.

IT DOESN'T MATTER THE BODY PART.

WE NEED TO RAISE AWARENESS SO PEOPLE AREN'T GETTING DIAGNOSED AT LATE STAGES.

LET GO BACK AND TALK ABOUT THE STATISTICS.

I MENTIONED SOME IN THE INTRODUCTION.

TELL BUS THE SURVEY THAT THE ORGANIZATION CONDUCTED AND SOME OF THE IMPORTANT FINDINGS.

OUR RECENT RESEARCH WE DID SHOWED, AS MENTIONED, THAT OVER 40% OF GUYS AREN'T CHECKING THEMSELVES FOR TESTICULAR CANCER.

THEN THOSE THAT ARE CHECKING, 50% OF GUYS ARE SAYING THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHAT WE SAW IS THAT 79% OF THOSE SURVEYED, MEN AND WOMEN, AGREED THAT MORE AWARENESS NEEDS TO BE OUT THERE.

IT'S NOT REALLY COMING FROM US.

IT'S COMING FROM THE PUBLIC.

HOPEFULLY, WE WILL MEET THOSE NEEDS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE SPECIFICS NOW THAT THE GROUP IS ADVOCATING.

LET'S START OFF WITH THE NOTION OF SELF-EXAMINATION.

WHAT IS IT THAT MEN SHOULD BE DOING OR OTHERS HELPING THEM?

I MENTIONED A FREQUENCY.

BUT WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE SUGGESTING IT SHOULD BE IN TERMS OF FREQUENCY?

YEAH.

BASICALLY, WE SUGGEST A MONTHLY SELF-EXAM.

IT'S ROLLING THE TESTICLE BETWEEN YOUR FINGER AND THUMB TO MAKE SURE THERE AREN'T LUMPS OR BUMPS, MAKE SURE IT'S NOT CHANGING CONSISTENCY, GETTING HARDER OR SOFTER, MAKING SURE IT'S NOT GETTING BIGGER OR SMALLER IN SIZE.

USUALLY TESTICULAR CANCER PRESENTS AS A SMALL, PAINLESS LUMP.

IT GIVES YOU TIME TO FEEL CHANGES.

YOU ARE NOT WAITING SO LONG THAT IT HAS A CHANCE TO ADVANCE.

IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING ABNORMAL, LETTING YOUR DOCTOR KNOW AND GOING FROM THERE.

TALK MORE ABOUT THE RATES.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CANCERS, WE DON'T ALWAYS USE THE TERM CURE.

SOMETIMES WE CAN.

CERTAINLY, WE CAN LOOK AT STATISTICS IN TERMS OF RECURRENCE AND THE SUGGESTIONS THAT THE STUDIES HAVE SHOWN.

WHAT DO YOUR STUDIES AND THE SCIENCE YOU HAVE SEEN SUGGEST ABOUT THE IDEA OF THE DISCOVERY, THE TREATMENT AND THEN WHAT THE RATES OF SUCCESS CAN BE?

I MEAN, OVERALL, THE SURVIVAL RATE FOR TESTICULAR CANCER IN GENERAL IS 95%. IF CAUGHT IN STAGE ONE DISEASE, IT'S ESSENTIALLY ALMOST CURABLE.

IT IS JUST A MATTER HOW FAR THE STUDIES MEASURE IT.

THE KEY REALLY IS THE EARLY DETECTION.

WE HAVE INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS.

IT'S A MATTER OF GETTING GUYS IN EARLY AND GETTING THEM.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN THAT YOU ARE DOING.

RAISING AWARENESS.

WE KIND OF JOKINGLY -- YOU HAVE INTRODUCED THE ELEMENT OF HUMOR INTO THIS.

IN OUR INTRODUCTION TALKED ABOUT IT.

WHY DECIDE, FIRST OF ALL, TO USE THE WALL STREET BULL AS THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THIS?

AND WHY DECIDE TO INCORPORATE THE NOTION OF SOME ELEMENT OF HUMOR INTO WHAT IS OBVIOUSLY A VERY IMPORTANT CAMPAIGN?

YEAH.

I MEAN, THE WALL STREET BALLS.

THE MOST CHECKED BALLS ON EARTH.

PEOPLE WILL LINE UP TO GET THEIR PICTURE WITH THE BULL AND CHECK OUT THE BALLS.

YET, THEY ARE NOT CHECKING THEIR OWN.

THEY ARE HESITANT.

IT DIDN'T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE.

THE ONE THING IS THAT TO REACH THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN AROUND THEM, BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES WOMEN ARE POKING THEM ABOUT THEIR HEALTH, IS TO REACH OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

IF SOMEONE POSTS A PICTURE WITH THE WALL STREET BULL, WE COME BACK WITH A FUN MESSAGE ABOUT AWARENESS AND POINT THEM ON HOW TO DO A SELF-EXAM AS A WAY TO BREAK THE ICE AND HELP NORMALIZE THE CONVERSATION ALONG WITH THE EDUCATION.

WHEN YOU MENTION THAT YOU HAVE RESPONSES, LIGHT-HEARTED RESPONSES, DESIGNED TO BASICALLY SAY TO SOMEBODY, OKAY, YOU FOUND THIS AND WE WILL BE HUMOROUS ABOUT IT, BUT WE NEED TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT MOVING FORWARD ON THIS.

GIVE US A COUPLE OF PBS APPROPRIATE, IF YOU WOULD, RESPONSES, THE THINGS THAT MIGHT GO OUT BACK AND FORTH AS PART OF THE CAMPAIGN.

FOR EXAMPLE, OBVIOUSLY, THE BULL'S BALLS, THE STATUE IS HUGE.

SO ARE THE BALLS.

WE WILL RESPOND BACK, THOSE ARE HUGE BALLS TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT.

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING A SELF-EXAM?

THEY WILL POST A PICTURE CHECKING IT OUT.

NOW ARE YOU CHECKING YOUR OWN?

IT'S REALLY WELL RECEIVED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE COMMENT BACK.

MY GOSH, THANKS.

THAT'S WAY TOO FUNNY.

IT'S GOING INCREDIBLY WELL.

WE ARE REALLY PROUD OF IT.

CLEARLY, ONE OF THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND YOUR CAMPAIGN IS THE NOTION OF RAISING AWARENESS, WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT AND WE HAVE SEEN IT SO OFTEN IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANCERS.

AS YOU SAID, CANCER -- THE PROCESS IS THE SAME.

IT'S JUST WHAT PART OF THE BODY IS BEING INVAD ED.

YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT AWARENESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA, WHICH IS IMPORTANT.

WE TALK ABOUT THIS AFFECTING YOUNG MEN.

YOU HAVE TO WONDER ABOUT, ARE THEY GETTING ANY AWARENESS EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE THAT COULD HELP TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS MIGHT BE?

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING RIGHT NOW?

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING IT CAN BECOME?

THERE ARE A FEW STATES THAT HAVE MANDATED TESTICULAR CANCER EDUCATION AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL.

THOSE ARE FAR AND FEW IN BETWEEN.

WE ARE IN OHIO RIGHT NOW.

THERE'S 975 HIGH SCHOOLS THE LAST TIME WE LOOKED.

IT'S A HUGE TASK TO GET IN WITHOUT MANDATES.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REACH THESE GUYS IN A DIFFERENT AVENUE.

HENCE, SOCIAL MEDIA.

THE AWARENESS AND EDUCATION IS KEY.

WE WORK IN THREE DIFFERENT PILLARS.

IT'S AWARENESS AND EDUCATION, ACCESS TO CARE AND QUALITY OF THE CARE.

IF YOU ARE WORKING IN ONE AREA, IT'S NOT GOING TO GET YOU SOMEWHERE.

THEY MIGHT NOTE ABOUT IT BUT THEY CAN'T SEE A DOCTOR OR THEY SEE THE DOCTOR BUT THEY DON'T GET THE BEST LEVEL OF CARE.

OVERALL, WE WORK IN ALL THREE.

IF SOMEBODY -- LAST QUESTION HERE.

A LITTLE LESS THAN A MINUTE.

IF SOMEBODY IS WATCHING OR HEARS THIS STORY AND THEY HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, HOW DO THEY REACH OUT TO GET GUIDANCE?

GO TO TESTICULARCANCERSOCIETY.ORG.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP.

GIVE PERSPECTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING.

GET THE BEST CARE.

IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING TO YOUR DOCTOR.

ONCE AGAIN, THE TESTICULAR CANCER SOCIETY, VERY IMPORTANT WORK AWARENESS WORK.

MIKE CRAYCRAFT, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

GOOD LUCK WITH THE GOOD WORK YOU ARE DOING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

YOU TAKE CARE NOW.

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