The Hollard Daredevil Run is always a festival of fun, and this year’s event was no different. Of course, it’s about much more than the great vibe, the spirit of comradery and running through the streets of Jo’burg in an iconic purple Speedo.
It’s about raising awareness for a vitally important cause – prostate and testicular cancer. And all the proceeds of the event are put to good use.
Entrance donations go to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. CANSA funds the Hollard MANVan – a compact mobile clinic that can access far off venues to provide education, awareness and PSA blood tests to screen for the possible presence of prostate cancer.
Jo’burg lads know how to throw a party
Prior to the race start, Zoo Lake (the location for this year’s event) was abuzz with anticipation. Uplifting beats were provided by Mix 93.8 FM; participants could have a quick and easy PSA blood test performed prior to the run; free sunscreen was handed out to Daredevils; and the body paint and crazy wigs came out in full force.
While taking their place behind the start line, participants were treated to a highly energetic performance from a hand selected dance troupe, and after a few inspirational words from the Hollard Daredevil team, the runners and walkers set off on the 5 km route just after 3 pm.
It goes without saying that the Jozi streets overflowed with a sea of purple Speedos united behind a single cause – running cancer straight outta town.
Supporters waited eagerly at the finish line to cheer their boytjies on, and Hollard made sure that food and beverage stalls, and an adequate seating area, were provided for all to enjoy on a spectacular Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately, males between the ages of 15 and 35 are at the most risk for testicular cancer, and many of us don’t perform self-examinations on a regular basis. It’s pretty straightforward: after a warm shower, gently role each testis between the thumb and forefingers, feeling for any lumps, nodes and swelling.
Also keep out an eye for other symptoms, including pain in the testes and lower abdomen, a sensation often described as “heaviness” in the scrotum, changes in the voice and facial and body hair of young boys, and enlarged breast tissue.
If detected early, testicular cancer has a brilliant post-diagnosis 5 year survival rate. In short, there’s a very definite wisdom in having boys and men play with their crown jewels.
Prostate cancer has an incidence rate that could be much higher than one may expect. Hollard’s General Manager of Marketing, Warwick Bloom, points out that in South Africa, between 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 black African men, and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 9 white men, will have prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Like testicular cancer, prostate cancer also has an incredibly encouraging post-diagnosis 5 year survival rate if caught early. As with all cancers, however, if the disease metastasizes and reaches distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis, the outlook becomes increasingly troubling.
In the early stages of prostate cancer, there may be no presentation of any symptoms at all, which is why screening is so vital.
The South African Prostate Cancer Guidelines recommend that:
- Black South African men and men with a positive family history of breast or prostate cancer consider screening from the age of 40 (this is because Black men have a significantly larger lifetime risk of contracting prostate cancer).
- Men from all other ethnic groups should consider screening from the age of 45.
- Screening should include a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Examination if the PSA test comes back on the high side.
- Learn more about prostate cancer’s symptoms and screening process here.
Don’t be intimidated by these tests; they’re not painful and they’re over in a flash. The rectal examination can take as little as 30 seconds to complete.
If there are any problems with the PSA test and the Digital Rectal Examination, men will generally be referred to a urologist for further investigation.
Learn more, educate others and get yourself tested
The message behind the Hollard Daredevil Run is unambiguous – learn all you can about prostate and testicular cancer, tell your friends and male relatives about it, and, perhaps most importantly, perform self-exams on your testes, get your PSA levels screened, and let a professional medical doctor check that prostate.