Updated 13 April 2017

'Testi-monials' encourage men to talk cancer and balls

There are certain things men don’t like to talk about: their favourite team losing, when they last cried during a movie – and testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is one the most common cancers in young men aged 15 – 39, and affects males of all races. If monitored properly, the average survival rate after five years is around 95%, and stage 1 cancer cases have essentially a 100% survival rate. It’s for this reason that early detection and prompt action are vital.

Removing the awkwardness

But, how do you start the conversation and get men to feel comfortable talking about their balls and all things health-related to their testes?

This was the challenge put to FCB Cape Town. 

Read: Testicular cancer can affect anyone 

Their solution? Instead of getting men to talk about their testicles, they got someone else to broach the subject on their behalf.

Cue Testi-monials, a campaign created by FCB Cape Town for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) which is setting out to remove the awkwardness around talking about testicular cancer, and drive awareness about how important it is that men not only talk balls but take care of them too.

The campaign, which has global appeal, features testicles giving their own testi-monials about cancer and how they have been personally affected. They will give advice on how to self-examine and help detect signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.

“We realised that if we could find a way to reduce the awkwardness around the topic of testicular cancer and get a conversation started, we’d be able to increase the chances of early detection,” says Mike Barnwell, Executive Creative Director at FCB Cape Town. 

Read: Screening tests all men men should have 

The characters were a result of a collaboration between FCB and their partners at Hellocomputer, who spent countless hours doing research before the final animation.

Hellocomputer then created the online components of the campaign.

The entire process took approximately eight months from start to finish. That’s a lot of time to create realistic looking talking-testes. But well worth the effort.

Lucy Balona, Head of Marketing and Communication at CANSA, is enthusiastic about this campaign: “It’s great to see a bunch of people who are actually concerned and interested in men’s health to have come up with an idea like this and want to share it. 

Read: Your testicles 

"Cancer is a disease that affects so many, and young men should be made aware about ways to reduce their cancer risk. This is a compelling and engaging campaign to get the guys talking and educated about testicular cancer. Awareness and early detection really does make a difference,” Balona adds.

Testi-monials will go live on Testi-monials where people can ask the campaign’s testi-ambassador their health related questions, including:

- How is testicular cancer diagnosed?

- What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

- What are the treatments for testicular cancer?

There are many other pertinent questions relating to testicular cancer. The testi-ambassador will give it to you straight, so there’s no need to beat around the bush.

However, there’s only so much a media release can tell you about talking testicles.

It’s really something that you need to, erm, check out for yourself: 

#Havetheballs and join in on the conversation online on Facebook and Twitter

Read more: 

Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer  

Subfertile men more likely to develop testicular cancer 

Testicular cancer gene found 


Cancer Association of South Africa, CANSA testi-monials,


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Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

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