Canisius College and Roswell Park Cancer Institute Launch “Check Yo Nutz” Testicular Cancer Awareness Campaign

Canisius College and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) announce the launch of “Check Yo Nutz,” the first comprehensive testicular cancer awareness campaign on a Western New York college campus. The campaign promotes testicular self-examination for men ages 15 - 40, through clear, informative, accurate, relatable and humorous messages.

“Almost every man with testicular cancer should be cured of this disease, regardless of how much the cancer has spread when discovered,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, president and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “But early detection is still very important – detection of testicular cancer at an earlier stage means cure is possible with less aggressive treatment and that means fewer side effects. Early detection directly improves the quality of a patient’s life. The students at Canisius College are to be commended for raising cancer awareness among young people both on their campus and in our community.”

The “Check Yo Nutz” campaign was originally developed by Canisius students in the spring 2009 course, entitled Persuasion, instructed by Melissa B. Wanzer, EdD, professor of communication studies.

Meagan Tremblay ’10, Elyse Krezmien ’09, Sara LaBelle ’10, Ja’Nay Carswell ’09 and David Jackson ’09 conducted research on testicular cancer and designed the campaign. Jackson also created the campaign logo featuring Sammy the Squirrel.

In September 2009, several of the students presented their research and campaign ideas to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Their campaign ideas were adopted by Yroswell, a Roswell Park campaign dedicated to supporting and encouraging members of Generation Y, or those between the ages of 12 and 26, to help create a world without cancer. During the 2010 spring semester, as part of their coursework for Health Campaigns, which is team-taught by Wanzer and Catherine Foster, PhD, assistant professor of communication studies, 36 students worked collaboratively with members of RPCI to design and implement the comprehensive health communication campaign.

“Faculty members such as Drs. Wanzer and Foster challenge our students to reach their greatest potential through leadership opportunities on our campus and in the community,” said John J. Hurley, executive vice president and vice president for college relations at Canisius. “The innovative campaign has great potential and I am pleased that our students have teamed up with one of the nation’s foremost cancer institutes to realize this objective.”

A survey of 349 male and female students on campus revealed that their classmates were virtually unaware of testicular cancer. Male survey respondents knew very little about testicular cancer symptoms and didn’t how to perform a self examination.

“I was shocked that I am among the age group predominantly affected by testicular cancer,” said Drew Creighton ’10, one of the students from the Health Campaigns class. “The ‘Check Yo Nutz’ campaign will spread awareness and encourage young men like myself to perform self checks. We hope that other colleges will embrace this campaign and implement it on their own campuses.”

Canisius students will hold a series of events to promote testicular cancer awareness, including:

“Don’t Forget Your Buddies” on Wednesday, April 21 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the college’s Bart Mitchell Park. The Canisius community will receive free Nutty Buddy ice cream cones, as well as information about testicular cancer.

“Dodge These Balls, Not Yours” on Tuesday, April 27 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. Students, faculty and staff are invited to compete in a dodgeball tournament to support the campaign.

“The Check Now Luau” on Friday, April 30 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. Students, faculty and staff are invited to dance to a luau theme. This event is sponsored by Main Urology Associates, P.C.

Sammy the Squirrel will make an appearance at all of the above events.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs.

Source:  Canisius College

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