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Danville Police officer Jason Horschouer, left, and San Francisco Fire Dept. paramedic, Justin Schorr, pose for a picture on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 in Danville, Calif., with Hoschouer's Honda ST-1300 police motorcycle. Horschouer and Schorr are wearing kilts all month to bring attention to prostate cancer month in a campaign called Kilted to Kick Cancer. The campaign is a effort to encourage more men to get checked for prostate cancer. They are wearing the kilts while off-duty only. (Jim Stevens/Staff)

DANVILLE -- Two men wearing skirts walk into a bar and ... uh, wait.

"It's only a skirt if you are wearing something under it," cautioned Jason Hoschouer, the 40-year-old Danville motorcycle cop perched atop a tall chair in That Bar.

And if you get his drift, he's not wearing a skirt. It's a kilt.

Oh my.

It's this racy talk that pumps the fun into Kilted to Kick Cancer, an organization Hoschouer and 36-year-old paramedic Justin Schorr of Antioch founded last year to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

This past month, men in 32 states traded their pants for kilts.

They wear their manly kilts everywhere: The grocery store, Starbucks, the airport and even the shopping mall in the hopes their unconventional attire and straight talk will spark questions and send men to their doctors for a checkup.

One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men behind lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

But the symptoms are, well, intensely personal and the physical exam is the subject of endless late-night comedy routines.

A guy who shares with his buddies details of painful urination or unusual testicular lumps won't be invited back to the poker game.

"Men don't talk about this stuff," a kilted Schorr said during an interview before the organization's recent fundraiser at That Bar. "But when you are wearing a kilt, people come up ask, 'What's up with the kilt?' It's the perfect opportunity to talk about male-specific cancers."


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To prove his point, Schorr turned to a young law enforcement officer and asked, "Do you know how to check yourself for signs of prostate cancer?"

The young man's ears turned red but he listened.

"See, that conversation would never have happened if I had been wearing pants," Schorr said. "It happens all the time."

The pantless duo launched Kilted to Kick Cancer during a bout of kilt withdrawal. They wanted more of those breezy kilted days they enjoy during the annual Scottish Highland Gathering & Games in Pleasanton.

The pair also noted with interest the pink frenzy sweeping the country as the color has become synonymous with the campaign to raise awareness and money for breast cancer treatment and research.

Make no mistake, Schorr and Hoschouer embrace pink. They have mothers, wives and daughters.

But, they thought, why not marry kilts and a prostate cancer awareness campaign?

So far, Kilted To Kick Cancer is a 100 percent social media campaign, relying on www.kiltedtokickcancer.org, a Facebook page and Twitter hashtag #kiltedtokickcancer to spread the word.

It's working.

People in 32 states and a handful of other countries have volunteered as kilted spokesmen. Kilted To Kick Cancer doesn't accept money directly but has raised more than $20,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and other groups.

They are pleased with their progress, Schorr and Hoschouer say. They've inspired numerous men -- sometimes with a little help from the women who love their men -- to get screened, and they have an excuse to wear a kilt anytime the mood strikes them.

But they have set their sights on the big leagues -- the National Football League to be precise.

In honor of breast cancer research, the NFL is planning a "pink" game day, in which players will wear pink accessories and wipe down that sweat with pink towels.

OK, we can see where this is going.

"We'll know we have really made an impact when we're on TV with football players and we're all wearing kilts," Hoschouer said.

Hmm. If the kilt dress code frowns upon underwear, what does it say about athletic cups?

Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, Twitter /lvorderbrueggen or Facebook/lvorderbrueggen.

Prostate cancer: know thyself
A man wearing a kilt may walk up to you in the mall or the coffee shop and ask you, "Do you know your risk factors?" It's OK. He's not crazy. Well, he may be a bit off. He is wearing a kilt, after all.
No, the Kilted to Kick Cancer spokesman is talking about the factors that boost a man's chances of contracting prostate cancer. Here are several listed by the American Cancer Society:
Age -- Almost 2 out of 3 prostate cancers are found in men older than 65.
Family history -- Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man's risk of developing this disease. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young at the time the cancer was found.
Diet -- Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products may have slightly higher odds but these men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Doctors are not sure which of these factors is responsible.
For a complete list of risk factors and more information, visit www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/index. For details about Kilted to Kick Cancer, visit kiltedtokickcancer.org.