With the annual Movember cancer awareness campaign in full swing, Mark Pilgrim has opened up about his own struggle with testicular cancer.
Pilgrim was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer when he was just eighteen years old, but he beat the disease and is now both an ambassador for the Cancer Association of South Africa and a friend of the Reach for a Dream Foundation. He is also a proud supporter of the Movember crusade, which encourages men to grow a moustache for charity throughout the month of November.
Speaking to Huisgenoot about his cancer, the radio and television personality admitted that he was very uneducated about the symptoms of testicular cancer back then.
“I knew absolutely nothing,” Pilgrim admitted when asked if he was aware of the warning signs.
“I didn’t even know what a swollen testicle could possibly mean. The general and big mistake that many of us make is to ignore the symptoms. When we see something wrong, we say: ‘Let’s see if it’s still there tomorrow’.
“Each day that I didn’t get myself checked out, the cancer was spreading through my body.”
After being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1988, Pilgrim had one testicle removed and he also underwent “long” months of chemotherapy, after which he was declared to be in remission.
Of the Movember campaign, he said: “It is about raising awareness. Early diagnosis can save lives. True men go for an examination.
“The money that gets raised goes towards research and also supports survival programs whereby men receive various treatment options and support.”