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In this episode: Having the balls

Joined by an array of guests, including Suks Minhas, one of the UK’s leading andrologists (a specialist bloke doctor) from the Lister Fertility Clinic, The Harley Street Clinic and The Princess Grace Hospital, all part of HCA UK, Anna gets to the very heart of some of those longstanding myths around fertility, erectile dysfunction, testicular cancer, and of course the all-important average length of a gentleman’s erection – officially “four inches” according to Suks, who by his own acknowledgement has seen more penises than most. 

 

Special guests Jason Cundy and Dominic Littlewood

I had my operation on the Monday, by Friday I was riding my motorbike
Dominic Littlewood

TV Presenter

Also joining Anna are ex-professional footballer Jason Cundy, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer as a younger man, and TV’s Dominic Littlewood, whose doctors discovered he had prostate cancer during a routine check-up.


Both Jason and Dom talk about their fantastic experiences with medical professionals throughout their diagnoses and treatment, which played a major role in helping to alleviate the stress and emotional impact of their conditions on each of their families.  


Listen to Health: Fact vs Fiction - Having the balls on Apple podcasts now.

Listen to Health: Fact vs Fiction - Having the balls on Google podcasts now.

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Things we learn in this episode

Don’t nod off  - this episode is all about getting the kind of sleep that dreams are made of. Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist and reader in neurology at HCA Healthcare UK’s Sleep Centre at the London Bridge Hospital. Guy talks to host Anna Richardson about the importance of sleep, why sleep disorders happen and how to get a good eight hours in.

Penile health

Penile health facts

A penis is a barometer of your general health. 

Suks tells us that 50% of men at the age of 50 will have erectile dysfunction. It’s a warning sign for conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol raised blood pressure.

Fertility

Fertility health fact

10% of men who have vasectomies enquire to have them reversed because of life changes and what Suks describes as some men going through the "menoporsche"! 

Suks talks about what men can do to improve their fertility - good diet, regular exercise. But good news for would-be dads who are cyclists - there is no conclusive proof that a bike seat will impact on your sperm count. Avoid sitting in a hot bath if you’re trying to conceive though.

Fertility health fiction

The vast majority of fertility problems are female related. Total nonsense. Actually, around 40-50% of fertility problems are down to male-related issues

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer fact

Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men under the age of 50.

Testicular health fact

Men should check their testicles at least once every three months for signs of testicular cancer.

Testicular health fiction

A man’s fertility is destroyed by a positive diagnosis of testicular cancer. In fact, removing a testicle may not make a significant difference to fertility, unless that’s the testicle producing sperm. Plus, sperm can be frozen before chemotherapy. 


TalkSport presenter and former Chelsea and Tottenham footballer Jason Cundy talks about being diagnosed with testicular cancer - and having one of his balls removed - at the age of 27. Jason realised something was wrong while randomly checking his balls while watching the TV at home. He also talks about having two children after his cancer diagnosis - one conceived naturally, and a second 18 years later using frozen sperm. Jason now talks about men’s health every week on his radio show.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer fact

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men here in the UK. 47,000 men are diagnosed with it every year.

Prostate health fact

Men with a family history of prostate cancer are more at risk. As are men from Afro-Caribbean communities. 


TV presenter Dominic Littlewood tells us about having his prostate removed following a positive diagnosis. He didn’t have a single symptom and it was discovered through a routine health check-up. Because his parents also had cancer, Dominic was encouraged to tell his brother and sisters to get checked out. A few months later, his sister found a lump in her breast and ended up having a mastectomy. Dominic has appeared on ITV’s The Real Full Monty to spread the word about prostate cancer.

What to do next

Guests in this episode

Mr Suks Minhas

Mr Suks Minhas

Mr Suks Minhas, Consultant Urologist and Andrologist at Lister Fertility ClinicThe Harley Street Clinic and The Princess Grace Hospital, all part of HCA Healthcare UK.

 

Suks Minhas specialises in treating problems affecting the male genitals and is one of the UK’s only dedicated andrological surgeons. He has published extensively on the subject, chaired scientific meetings both nationally and internationally in the field of andrological surgery, and regularly receives invitations as an international speaker on the topic. Suks has contributed to a number of scientific journals and is actively involved in the teaching and training of surgeons in the UK.

 

He was chairman of the British Association of Urological Surgeons Section of Andrology and is currently a board member of the European Society of Andrological Surgery.

Jason Cundy

Jason Cundy

Ex-professional footballer Jason Cundy began his career at Stamford Bridge and went on to make 57 first-team appearances for Chelsea, before making a switch to Spurs in 1992. During his career, Jason also played for Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Bristol City, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth.

 

He retired in 2000 due to injuries, and subsequently became a presenter on talkSPORT, as well as a pundit for Chelsea TV.

 

In 1997 Jason was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  He has always spoken openly and honestly about his diagnosis and subsequent treatment, passionately believing that men need to speak more about their health, self-examine their testicles regularly and not ignore the signs if something doesn’t feel quite right.

Dom Littlewood

Dominic Littlewood

Dom is the presenter of the hugely successful Dom on the Spot for the BBC.  He presents Caught Red Handed and Fake Britain and co presents Right on the Money for the BBC.  He was one of the stars of The Real Full Monty for ITV, raising awareness of male cancers. 

 

Dom is known for his tenacity for tackling companies and cowboy tradespeople head on and has a passion for solving consumer problems. After investigating and reporting on many companies and rogue traders, Dom has an extensive knowledge of their tricks, scams and cons.

 

He thrives on challenges and competed in the BBC's first ever Celebrity Total Wipeout in Argentina, in which he was narrowly beaten to second place by just one second. He took part in BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing series seven and made it through to the sixth round but gladly admits dancing was never going to be his forte. Always up for a challenge, he completed the 2014 RideLondon 100 mile cycle race for the charity 'Bliss' in an amazing five hours 31 minutes.

 

Dominic has been a type 1 diabetic for 38 years and has witnessed many changes in the NHS and medical procedures relating to his condition – and he regularly gives talks on the subject.

 

In 2017 Dominic spoke publicly for the first time about being diagnosed with prostate cancer five years previously. During a routine blood test to check his type 1 diabetes, the test showed his PSA levels were raised and, following a biopsy, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dominic is now cancer-free and is a vocal advocate for prostate cancer screening and raising awareness of male cancers.

Our mens health clinic locations

Across the HCA UK group, we have a number of locations offering appointments, screening and treatment for a range of conditions. 

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