The next time you look up at the sky and see a pilot doing an unusual maneuver overhead, they may be drawing a penis. A cancer awareness initiative in New Zealand has gone viral and global, encouraging would-be artists to share their phallic masterpieces wherever they go with tracking apps.
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting men between the ages of 15 and 39. Unfortunately, many aren’t aware how to check for symptoms and reduce the risk. With regular exercise a proven method of reducing cancer risk, New Zealand launched a “Go Balls Out” initiative to encourage men to get out and about …with a twist. With mapping apps common among those that track their walk, run, bike ride, or swim, the Go Balls Out initiative encourages men to “draw” their privates as they go about their exercise routine to increase awareness of the cancer. On the official Go Balls Out website, there’s an entire gallery of men sharing their artistic talents.
Pilot Vaughn Davis took the challenge to new heights -literally. Using his Piper Arrow airplane, Vaughn created the phallic flight path by following a carefully planned GPS route over Auckland. He said he had to get clearance from Whenuapai’s military control tower to enter restricted airspace to complete the picture. “I spent about 30 minutes on top of my usual pre-flight planning identifying a route that would give the desired result,” Vaughn said. “As my flight was tracked continuously by radar I had to make sure that I kept precisely to the planned track, any deviation would have shown up in the finished image.” The finished flight map image is showcased in the Go Balls Out gallery online.
FlightRadar24.com has shown others have used their aircraft and their tracking website to draw various shapes in the sky, penis included. In 2015, a Florida pilot took his private two-seater on an a flight path from Kissimee toward Florida’s western coast, dipping south toward Lakeland, and then returning to the north. By rounding out the base of his sketch, you can see what he was aiming to draw.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the first symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on the testicle, or the testicle becomes swollen or larger. Some testicular tumors might cause pain, but most of the time they don’t. Men with testicular cancer can also have a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. In rare cases, germ cells tumors can also make breasts grow or become sore. This is because some germ cell tumors secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin which stimulates breast development. According to the ACS, even if testicular cancer has spread to other parts of the body, many men might not have symptoms right away. But some men might have some of the following symptoms: low back pain (from cancer spread to the lymph nodes in the back of the belly), shortness of breath, chest pain, or cough (if cancer spreads to lungs), headaches or confusion (if cancer spreads to the brain.)
A number of non-cancerous conditions, such as testicle injury or inflammation, can cause symptoms similar to those of testicular cancer. Inflammation of the testicle (known as orchitis) and inflammation of the epididymis can cause swelling and pain of the testicle. Both of these also can be caused by viral or bacterial infections not related to cancer.
If anyone has any concerns about testicular cancer, they should speak to a doctor immediately.