People with balls, listen up and listen hard: it's officially the start of Men's Health Month, meaning now is a great time to check your gonads for signs of testicular cancer.
Each year, June 1 marks the beginning of Men's Health Month, an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness for preventable health conditions and encouraging the early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
While testicular cancer is not common, the average age at the time of diagnosis is around 33 - yes, that young. This is largely a disease that affects young and middle-aged men: according to Testicular Cancer New Zealand, it is the most common cancer in young men aged 18 to 39, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer. In New Zealand, about 150 men are diagnosed annually and seven to 10 men die from testicular cancer each year.
However, if it's diagnosed early, it has the highest cure rate of all cancers.
If you are a Kiwi aged 18 to 39 and have a pair of nuts, perhaps now is a good time to start dedicating a little more attention downstairs. One way you can easily monitor your manhood is, funnily enough, by moisturising. Giving the scrotum a little extra love and care by applying a rich, nourishing moisturiser each day won't only impress your partner, it could be the difference between life and death.
In recognition of Men's Health Month, the local legends behind the Kiwi bathroom brand Two Dudes have re-released their renowned 'Ball Butter' to encourage Kiwi dudes to check their bits for signs of testicular cancer.
The Ball Butter first launched last year, the brainchild of the two dudes behind the brand, Tomas Tappin and Michael McRae. The Auckland-based duo were stoked that the product proved so popular, even selling out twice.
The moisturiser, which is designed to be rubbed into the scrotum, features sweet almond oil and fatty acids to retain moisture and heal chapped or irritated skin. There are no medicinal ingredients in the Ball Butter - it's a "simple, nourishing moisturiser designed to be applied daily".
"The idea is to encourage Kiwi men to get used to what their testicles normally look and feel like so they're more likely to notice any changes, plus each label has instructions that outline how to check for testicular cancer," Tappin explained.
"We wanted to shine a light on a serious issue, so it was great to see Kiwi men get around a good cause. To us it showed that, when approached the right way, men in Aotearoa are willing to engage and talk about their health.
"Grabbing the topic by the balls, so to speak."
Launched in November 2020, Two Dudes aims to better the lives of every dude in New Zealand by encouraging men to take care of themselves. Of their profits, 10 percent is channelled into men's health organisations, including the New Zealand Men's Health Trust.
And yes, these dudes actually know a thing or two about moisturiser. Ball Butter's relaunch follows Two Dudes' success at the Men's Product Awards last week, taking out Best Moisturiser, Best New Brand and Best Social Enterprise.
Tony Mitchell, a trustee at New Zealand Men's Health Trust, is a big proponent of the Ball Butter returning for a second year, acknowledging that testicular cancer has historically been a "difficult and uncomfortable" topic of discussion.
"It is very important. Cancer isn't going away, so do yourself a favour this June and get to know what's normal down there," he said.
Ball Butter's return joins a host of other Men's Health Month activities and initiatives headed by Two Dudes, including free haircuts and yoga for men in partnership with Barba and Lululemon respectively.
Any dude wanting a free haircut is encouraged to come down to Barba in Kingsland from 5pm to 7pm on Friday, June 10.