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State of the nation??

We should all be concerned about the state of the nation, especially when so many of our men are battling prostate and testicular cancer, says Zenzile Mogoba, group communications manager at Hollard Group. “Every year, when parliament opens, we take stock of the political state of our country. Why are we not doing the same with our health? The state of our men’s health in particular,” asks Mogoba. Every March Hollard sounds a clarion call for the Daredevil Run, which over the years has come to be known as the “ballsiest run in all the land”. Brave men wear trainers and purple Speedos and hit peak hour traffic to draw attention to male cancers, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. The ultimate mission being to lend a hand to the call for early detection. One in four black men have a chance of developing prostate cancer, which only has a one-in-eight chance of affecting white men. Testicular cancer on the other hand is a high risk among white males. One in 250 white men have a chance of developing testicular cancer, while only one in 1 700 black men are at risk of this cancer. “We encourage men to be comfortable enough to check their balls for testicular cancer, and all men above the age of 40 should include a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test with their annual check-ups. “This is the main drive behind the Hollard Daredevil Run -- early detection. Men have a 98% chance of beating these cancers when they are picked up early. When left to spread, there’s only a 30% chance of survival,” Mogoba says. This, says Mogoba, is what men can do for themselves, but there’s an opportunity to do more for other men. Taking part in the annual Hollard Daredevil Run allows men who participate to raise funds for early detection for other men who may not have access to the required medical facilities. “There are areas in our country that are largely under serviced. In these areas men do not get information and opportunity, whether due to socio-economic reasons or lack of access. However, these men are part of us, and it is for them that we host the run each March. All proceeds from entries go towards campaigns by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) that up the fight against male cancers specifically in remote areas.” The 10th Hollard Daredevil Run takes place on March 13, at Zoo Lake. Last year alone this camaraderie of brothers saw more than 300 participants taking a PSA test, 12 of these were referred for a follow up. This means a possible 12 lives saved just through positive participation. A country is only as powerful as the health of its citizens. Healthy men and women are able to contribute positively to the economy and future of a nation. “While we have put the spotlight on men,” Mogoba says, “the general message is that true wealth lies in health. “Men who take care to check their health regularly and test for male cancers give a gift of life, not only to themselves, but their loved ones as well. Their children, parents, and spouses get to enjoy them a while longer because they heeded the call for early detection. The future then becomes that much better for many, including our beautiful nation.”

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