Michael Douglas talks about throat cancer and HPV

on Monday, 03 June 2013. Posted in blog

I welcome Hollywood actor Michael Douglas's very frank and open assessment in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, that it seems likely that the throat cancer that he'd suffered with over a number of years was caused by 'oral sex'. 

The HPV (human papiloma virus) virus is widespread in the population and especially amongst reasonably sexually active people - with usually no can harmful effects. However, certain strains cause cancers in certain people.

These strains of HPV are widely associated with cervical cancer but it is less well known that they are also associated with penile cancers, anal cancers and throat cancers - where the virus is likely to have been transmitted through sexual contact. Although we do not yet fully understand why certain people are more vulnerable than others we do know additional risk factors include smoking and drinking alcohol.

This statement by Michael Douglas will help to raise awareness of the risks associated with hpv and I believe should serve to encourage those who should be part of the NHS vaccination program to ensure they do get vaccinated. It will also add more voices to the arguments which we have in clinical circles about the 'for's and against' of including boys within the national screening program as is the case in Australia. The vaccine would protect against all of the cancers associated with these hpv strains.


At Southdowns Private Healthcare we offer the HPV vaccine for those who are concerned and would like themselves or their children - both boys and girls, to be protected.

Make time for your health call us on 01243 388 712

Study Findings Highlight Benefits of Prostate Cancer Screening

on Wednesday, 01 May 2013. Posted in blog

A recent study suggests that men in their late 40s could benefit from being offered a routine screening test for prostate cancer. 

Prostate screening detects levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA); a protein produced by normal as well as cancerous prostate cells. The idea has caused some controversy as screening for PSA has been deemed unreliable as previous testing has sometimes produced false positive results. 

However, results taken from a recent study carried out on men aged 27-52 showed that a high PSA reading was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer; suggesting that men would benefit from routine PSA screening. 

The study revealed that screening amongst men who were below the age of 45 detected few deadly cancers, and screening amongst men aged 50 and over missed too many; suggesting that men in their late 40s are at the prime age for PSA testing to avoid false results or late detection.   

Recent research carried out by the ERSPC (European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer) showed that prostate screening reduced the risk of mortality by 20%, and according to Swedish researchers, routine screening of men aged 45-49 could help to predict nearly half of prostate cancer fatalities. 

However, when the UK National Screening Committee last assessed the issue in 2010, it was decided that routine screening should not be introduced, and there is currently still no routine screening programme existing in the UK. 

At Southdowns Private Healthcare our doctors can help to screen for early signs of prostate cancer or to assess you for any concerns you may have about cancer and your health. To learn more about our cancer screening services, or to book an appointment, call us on 01243 388 712.

Bowel Cancer Screening

on Thursday, 07 February 2013. Posted in blog

About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. It is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year.

Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage (in people with no symptoms), when treatment is more likely to be effective. Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time. They can easily be removed, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing.

Southdowns Private Healthcare offers a comprehensive Bowel Cancer Screening service. Our service includes the following:


Making time for your health

At Southdowns we believe that giving our patients time to discuss their health is a critical factor in good health.

Our consultations are unhurried, allowing us to fully explore your concerns and talk through any issues you want to discuss.

Patient Confidentiality

We do not share any information about our clients with anyone else, unless you give expressed permission. Unlike the NHS we operate an “opt-in” policy regarding data sharing, meaning that unless told otherwise we will not share your details with any third parties.