It’s a fact: guys just don’t like sharing their problems. This unwillingness to share is even more pronounced when the problem involves their ‘special area’.
I’m talking about testicles and prostate glands. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer found in men aged 15–35, and can spread rapidly to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer is found largely in the 50+ age group, however in some cases men as young as 40 have contracted the disease. So how come with as many as 2000 Kiwi men being diagnosed and nearly 600 dying each year, it’s a topic that isn’t well-known and acknowledged in today’s liberal society? I mean hell, we can talk about breast examination without anyone batting an eyelid, right? This brings us to NUTS…
The National Unit of Testicular Support, otherwise known affectionately as NUTS, was founded in March this year by five entrepreneurial students as part of a Victoria University Management paper. NUTS aims to dispel the negative stigmas attached with talking about testicular cancer and prostate cancer. NUTS Manager Jonathan Eagle has vision “to get testicular cancer and prostate cancer as much publicity as Breast Cancer, because the fairer sex has done a great job that we men need to emulate!” Unfortunately prostate and testicular cancer aren’t talked about, and men don’t know the facts and symptoms, and find out too late. Again, this brings us to NUTS…
Supported by both the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society and the New Zealand Prostate Cancer Foundation NUTS has big plans. They have generated an impressive range of boxer shorts that will raise both awareness and cash for their cause. The boxers are “sexy, styley and comfortable”, claims one NUTS admirer.But this is no surprise as they have had huge support from the fashion industry. 2006 will be a Wellington campaign and NUTS have recruited help from five great local and national designers, with a mix of established and up-coming brands. The designers are: Mandatory; an iconic Cuba Mall Menswear brand: Four Fontaine (formally Four Forty); a hugely successful local label: Out There Clothing; a well known brand that started out of Arrowtown, Adrian Hailwood; a fashion designer that has been steadily climbing the fashion world’s ladder recently with the help of Anna Stretton: and last but not least, NUTS have been lucky enough to work with Natalie Rotman, a brilliant senior design student at Massey.
Each Designer has contributed their artwork to appear on one of the five pairs of boxers in the range, creating a collectable set of five different NUTS boxers that retail at $29.99 each. From the sale of these boxers, $10 will go to cancer support services such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Cancer Society to help those affected by cancer.
Eagle sees the importance of humour to break the ice of such a sensitive topic. “By letting people have a bit of a laugh, hopefully they will be able to talk about these serious issues with their friends and family. That’s why we use such a provocative acronym, its funny, funky and grabs your attention.”
“The message we want to send out is firstly that it’s OK to talk about health issues, and secondly, the only way to minimize the effects of prostate and testicular cancer is to be proactive about early detection. For testicular cancer, regular self-examination is quick, simple and painless, and it can save lives. NUTS recommends testicular self-examination in the shower, as the tissue will be warm and relaxed, making it easier to detect a lump or increased size of testicle.”
“For prostate cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation advocates annual prostate check- ups with a GP for men aged 50 and over, and from age 40 in the case of family history of the disease.”
NUTS will be running an annual boxer campaign to spread awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. This year the first Wellington Campaign will take place, with the first national campaign next year.
So support your NUTS and buy a pair of their brilliant briefs, they’re the perfect Christmas gift for your dad, brother, uncle, son or Granddad. Or just buy a pair for yourself because you probably need some flash new ‘going-out’ undies.
You’ll find NUTS in leading Wellington Menswear stores from December 1st.