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Across the Netherlands, public sirens go off at noon on the first Monday of every month. They're just test signals, but a new initiative believes they can serve as a monthly reminder for something else. When the alarm sounds, Het Ballenalarm encourages people to drop everything and grab their balls. Not for fun, but to perform a testicular self-exam.
Testicular cancer is relatively rare, but it's the most common form of cancer in people aged 15 to 40 who were born with testicles. If caught early, it's highly treatable, so it's crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms and perform regular self-exams to check for abnormalities.
Launched in November 2022, Het Ballenalarm is the brainchild of young physician Berend van Doorn. The Dutch Foundation for Testicular Cancer funded the campaign, along with St Antonius Hospital's urology practice and the F|Fort Foundation.
As much as people may realize the need to check for potential signs of cancer, it's apt to slip their minds. By attaching a monthly check to those unavoidable sirens, Het Ballenalarm both raises awareness and uses that external cue as a monthly reminder for an intimate routine.
Which nationwide, regularly occurring signal could your organization employ to help your audience adopt a beneficial new habit?
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