A 31-year-old American testicular cancer survivor is on a mission to stamp out the devastating disease through early detection and diagnosis.
Diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 2009, Thomas Cantley has been in remission from testicular cancer for the past four years due to early detection, and is, right-now rolling a six-foot inflatable testicle that people can sign, from California to New York, to urge 13-to-35 year old men to get tested for testicular cancer.
Cantley says he wants the most commonly diagnosed demographic — 13-to 35-year-old men — not only to have routine check-ups, but to also not feel alone should they test positive.
“When I was diagnosed, I didn’t want to talk about it, I pushed everyone out of life.”
According to Cancer Council Australia, testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in men aged 18-30; 706 cases of testicular cancer were diagnosed in Australia in 2010, and the rate of testicular cancer has grown upwards of 50 per cent in the past 30 years.
With early detection, most testicular cancers can be treated, although due to the taboo nature sometimes associated with the disease, many men are unwilling to be tested. In 2011, 16 potentially preventable Australian deaths were attributed to testicular cancer.
On his journey, Cantley is filling the testicle with messages from people whom he meets, and says he hopes his project inspires men to get tested for testicular cancer.
“It’s a 96 per cent survival rate if caught early, so when you catch it early at stage one, its not progressive, it’s contained,” said Cantley.
Cantley’s project goal is not to spend any money on his journey, for money did not help him beat cancer.
“My goal is to get across the country not by any money,” Cantley said.
“I want people to come and go, I’ll book a hotel room, I’ll take you out to lunch, I’ll fill up your gas tank or whatever, and I want those physical connections. I don’t just want people to donate to me, I want people to connect with me.”
To learn more about Cantley’s ‘ballsy quest’ or to donate, visit www.BallPush.org