Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed these weird white lumps on my ballbag. They don’t hurt, and I can’t squeeze them. But I’m still worried about them. Is it – gulp – cancer?
Anonymous, via e-mail
Hopefully not, but I’d certainly get screened for cancer if I were you,” says genito-urinary specialist Dr Prem Vyas of Great Yarmouth’s James Paget Hospital. “Testicular cancer’s a common problem for men between their early-twenties and mid-thirties, so you need to be sure those lumps aren’t the first sign of a malignant growth. See your GP initially, explain your worries and they’ll refer you to the appropriate people.” Once you’ve passed that test, says Vyas, there’s also the enchanting prospect that you have either chlamydia or gonorrhoea. Nice. “You’ll find both problems can be cured by a simple course of antibiotics as you’ve just inflamed either your sperm duct or the testicles themselves.” Cue your winky retracting slowly back into your scrotum like a poisonous black mamba that’s been punched on the nose…
I occasionally get these thick, wiry bits poking out from my chin – a bit like that camp bloke from Hellraiser. What are they and what’s the best way to deal with them?
Craig Jones, Kilmarnock
Andy Boothroyd, owner of Dandy Brown’s grooming salon in Leeds, reckons there’s nothing to worry about. “Having wiry stubble is a genetic thing, like a bit of orange in your beard.” So we can pluck them out with tweezers? “No. You’ll cut yourself and end up with scars. Use hot water and a badger brush topped with shaving foam. That way, stubble is lifted before you shave, taking out the wiry buggers from the root.”
Slightly weird one for you. I’m worried. Wherever I look, I see black spots in my line of vision. Am I going blind? Or simply mad?
Jase, via e-mail
Good news. You’re not going to be left grinning inanely on trains while tripping up fellow commuters with a white stick. “Black spots in the line of vision are often what is known as ‘floaters’,”says Larry Benjamin, honorary secretary of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. “These are normal particles in the vitreous jelly that fills the back of the eye. But a sudden shower of floaters may indicate a collapse of that jelly. It just comes with the ageing process.” But Benjamin still recommends you get it checked as soon as possible. “The more serious it becomes, the more likely you are to end up with a torn retina, which will affect your eyesight.” In which case, you’ll require corrective laser-eye surgery, which could prove costly. So, you could end up blind and skint. But not mad. Superb!
I’ve been hitting the gym a lot recently. But in the last couple of months I’ve been getting pins and needles in my left wrist. Am I having a heart attack?
Stuart Lory, Leeds
If it’s after exercise, it could be a symptom of angina,” says Dr Doniert McFarlane, heart expert and managing director of leading Internet medics talktoadoctor.co.uk. “This is a condition where a build-up of fat prevents blood flowing freely through the coronary arteries.” Visit your GP, says McFarlane, but don’t panic – you’re probably just a fat bastard. Plus, for someone in their twenties, it’s more likely to be a sensation called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, caused by traumas to the wrist, such as working with vibrating tools (um, not those kind). “The nerve that runs from the wrist into your hand has been placed under too much pressure,” continues McFarlane, unable to see your knowing, self-satisfied nods. “It’s not a life-threatening malady, but it might require surgery under local anaesthetic.” Which should, inevitably, prompt your pretty predictable follow-up letter…
My girlfriend tells me I smell like goats’ cheese. If it gets any worse I’m going to hum like a deli. What’s wrong with me?
Vic M, Stockport
It sounds like a condition called hyperhidrosis, brought on by excessive amounts of sweat,” says Dr. David Ashton, a consultant physician at London’s Princess Royal University Hospital. “That might explain any odd odours emanating from the armpits and feet.” The solution? “You need to visit a vascular specialist to see whether you require an operation called a sympathectomy. It medically interferes with your nerve supply, thus inhibiting how much you sweat.” In the meantime, visit www.webmd.com for a list of symptoms. Or lightly grill yourself with an onion chutney.
What's wrong with FHM readers?
Just the usual – mashed bones, blood, gore…
1 Face off
When you bequeath your life to a rope swing, all manner of things can go wrong, like the thread snapping in half. “My mate Dave Calvert ended up plummeting head first into a nearby river,” says Gareth from Furness.
2 Wrist and shout
Gary Conway mistimed his efforts to leap onto and then swing from a bus shelter in Stockholm, Sweden. Painfully, he landed on his wrist, snapping it in three places. “Please print this picture to keep his stupidity in our hearts forever,” says good chum Colin Rafter. Done.
3 Glassing about
Boozed-up James Nugent from Cheshire tried to pull a collapsed window frame back through its shed fitting – with tragic results. Says picture-taking pal Christian Oakes: “The rumours about extremely sharp, knife-like shards of glass being dangerous are true.”