Strictly: Len Goodman discusses same-sex couples
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The 77-year-old has had a turbulent health history after having surgery to remove melanoma from his face. Yet, a few years prior to this, Len was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Keeping details of his private life close to his chest, it was not until Len gave a interview to The Mail on Sunday that many of his close family, friends and work colleagues realised he had had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his prostate gland.
Speaking about why he chose to not reveal details of his surgery, Len said: "I've had the surgery now. Everything's gorgeously good.
"I could have said 'sorry' and not done the show, but the doctors felt I wasn't riddled with it and it wasn't so far advanced that it was a life-or-death scenario.
"It takes a few weeks to get everything set up for the operation anyway, so I went ahead and did the show. I had the surgery done as soon as I got back from America."
The star found out that he had prostate cancer months before filming Dancing With The Stars, but went on to say that he felt it “wasn't necessary to blabber it out to everyone”.
Len Goodman: The star had surgery to remove tumours (Image: Getty)
Instead only about half a dozen people knew that the star required surgery, none of whom were hosts Tess Daley and the late but great Sir Bruce Forsyth, who he joked would have thought of him as a "cancer-riddled, bed-ridden old so-and so."
Len said: "People generally think 'bloody hell'. With all the hoo-ha about Strictly coming up, I thought, 'Just my luck, they won't want that old f**t on it, the cancer-riddled, bed-ridden old so-and so.'"
Despite keeping his condition hidden at the time, on reflection, Len thought it was important to share his experience to try and inspire other people to get their health checked.
After spending four nights in a south east London hospital, he urged middle-aged men in particular to go for regular check-ups on their prostate.
The star continued to say: "Men, probably more than women, tend to ignore their health.
"As long as you get checked up every year then […] if you do get something, then hopefully they can catch it early and you have a good chance.
"I think that's the most important thing – men of a certain age should have their check-up every year."
The NHS explains that prostate cancer is a slow developing type of cancer that can go unnoticed for years.
Len Goodman: The star only told six people he had prostate cancer (Image: Getty)
Symptoms do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.
When these symptoms do appear, individuals may notice the following:
- An increased need to pee
- Straining while you pee
- A feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.
Causes of prostate cancer
Unlike other forms of cancer, the cause of prostate cancer is largely unknown, but certain factors can increase your risk.
In particular, men whose father or brother have been affected by prostate cancer are also at a slight increased risk themselves. The NHS also reports about research that suggests obesity and prostate cancer are linked too.
Len Goodman: The star urged men to get checked (Image: Getty)
If you or someone you know is worried that they might have prostate cancer, it is best to get checked out by your GP.
The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are:
- Blood tests
- A physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination, or DRE)
- An MRI scan
- A biopsy.
After a blood test, medical professionals will be able to measure an individual’s PSA level. This level of prostate-specific antigen will help detect if you have early prostate cancer or not.
If you do have prostate cancer, treatment might not be needed straight away. However, like Len, surgery may be required to remove tumours, or remove the whole of the prostate if needed.
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