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A man who lost both of his testicles to cancer has overcome his fears - and insecurities - by stripping off in front of millions of people.
Anthony Bigley, from Southport, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. He went on to have emergency surgery and chemotherapy, which not only left him 'looking like Freddy Krueger', but also too self-conscious to take his clothes off even in front of his wife.
But now that's all changed, following his performance on ITV show, The All New Monty.
Anthony, 45, admitted he found stripping in front of an audience was daunting, but said it was all for a good cause.
He said: "It was more frightening than the cancer even! You know, baring your dangly bits and all your scars is terrifying, but this was about laughing in the face of cancer and if it saves someone else and encourages someone to just check their self or see a doctor, then it's all good by me."
For the TV show, prostate and testicular cancer survivors from across the UK gathered together in a bid to help combat the stigma surrounding the unique losses they have experienced.
Here's #The16 brave men that bared all for #Prostate & #Testicular #cancer #awareness alongside the celebs on @ITV @spungoltv #AllNewMonty 2019. Please like, follow & share, helping us to reach more men; stamping on male cancers earlier rather than later! #whobareswins #montyarmy pic.twitter.com/HFLEoBGlc0
- Monty Army (@themontyarmy) May 6, 2019
Their incredible performance was viewed by millions across the UK, along with the 200-strong live audience.
Anthony was blown away by the response he had from the crowd, saying: "You know, you had Ashley Banjo and all these other guys who are in the gym every day and when we went out, we were all shapes and sizes with just a sailor hat and a gold thong.
"But the reaction we got was unbelievable. You could feel the wind from the cheering and the clapping, it was unbelievable."
He added: "Everyone was in tears backstage after, it was euphoric, so emotional, it was like finding yourself again. It was the most uplifting experience of my life."
Before his cancer diagnosis, Anthony had been in line to receive a black belt in karate. But after his treatment he went from 'a young man to walking with a cane', meaning he spent a decade working his way back to peak condition.
Two weeks ago, however, he finally earned that black belt.
Anthony said: "You know, it was really getting back into karate that boosted my confidence and even let me consider doing the show.
"My wife thought I was mad at first but she said 'If this is what you need to do, go for it'.
"I couldn't have done it without her."
'The Monty Army' has become the adopted name of the fellas who performed in the show - and they've been met with so much praise on social media that they've gone viral.
Now Anthony and the LADs are hoping to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer, with hundreds of men having already reached out to The Monty Army for support via their Facebook and Twitter pages.
"Don't be embarrassed about it, if we can stand naked in front of 12 million people, you can talk to a doctor, better to be embarrassed than dead," Anthony urged anyone who might be suffering in silence.
If you believe you may be showing signs of testicular or prostate cancer, such as difficulty passing urine or unexplained pain in your testicles, you should visit your GP as soon as possible.
For anyone who wants to reach out to the Monty Army you can contact them over twitter: @themontyarmy.
Featured Image Credit: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo
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