Gentlemen with Breast Cancer

A number of men do develop breast cancer and we would certainly like to offer support to them. It is a difficult situation for men to accept, some prefer to talk about their "chest wall cancer or tumour" instead of their breast cancer. Breast Cancer Care does have a helpline for men which many have found useful. They may also put you in touch with others if you wish. Obviously, Pink Ladies is attended primarily by women, but if a chat with one or more of our members would be helpful, please call one of us on the numbers listed to talk through the situation to see if we can be of help to you. We are all facing the uncertainty of this worrying disease and want to help each other through it. This article was written by Roy Collins, a local guy who has recently been through breast cancer treatment

BREAST CANCER IN MEN - Are we aware it does apply to blokes as well?

We men eh? What are we like? We are very aware of breast cancer in women. We are bombarded by the media showing us ladies in pink ribbons running here and there for cancer charities and other cancer support groups. All valuable stuff to further the research, and to be applauded. But how many of us realize this is also an issue for men? Well I have news for you guys out there. It is! What’s more, it appears to be on the increase and high time we were checking ourselves for signs. Yes, I hear you, first it’s check your testicles, then look in on your poo for signs of blood and the possibility of issues with bowel cancer. What next I hear you cry. We blokes don’t generally accept its normal behaviour to play with our own boobs. Members of the opposite sex, oh yes, perfectly fine and dandy to check those but no, not a manly thing to do to check one’s own. Goodness, it’s hard enough checking your own testicles but again, if she fancies that job, well that’s fine by us eh? Seriously guys, it’s time we bothered. Google breast cancer in men and you will be amazed. I know statistics can be mind blowing at times but these we ignore at our peril. There are prime age groups among us men who are more susceptible as there are in women. Mid to late 40’s and up seem to be favourite. I was diagnosed at 57 after my wife asked about an inverted nipple on my right breast. I have to say I was not overly concerned as temperature changes will alter the appearance as I’m sure you will agree, 57 and a very healthy 57 at that. No health problems to worry about in all that time. Me, I’m indestructible! Aren’t I? Nevertheless, off to the doc and within a very short space of time I found myself in Hastings Conquest Hospital running the gambit of tests to confirm or deny the presence of something nasty. It was indeed confirmed as a cancerous lump and had grown to 6cm in size with lymph nodes under the right arm also infected. It could have been detected earlier and if so may well have been treated differently with less invasive surgery. As it is a full mastectomy of the right breast and clearance of lymph nodes was scheduled followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy. Radiotherapy will then follow for a further 2-3 weeks and finally 5 years’ worth of tablets to control hormone levels.  Do you really need me to repeat the bit about checking your breasts? I am by nature a very positive person and, like most of us blokes I’m sure, if we have a choice of sort it or sit on it we will choose the former. Operation, chemo, radio and whatever else it takes. Just get rid of it! This has been my philosophy and 3 weeks away from my last dose of chemo I appear to be doing ok. Yes there are side effects. Fortunately for me they have been minimal. Sore mouth, hard to swallow at times, diarrhoea but only rarely, aching joints due to injections for increasing white cells to fight off infections, (rather important that one) but after a couple of weeks you notice an increase in red cells that have taken a knock, the tiredness isn’t such an issue and your daily walks are easier. Taste can also be an issue and foods you are so used to, become more like cardboard. However, choose soups and with me, syrup flavoured porridge was a godsend. Oh, and you do lose your hair! And not only the hair on your head, try eyelashes, legs, eyebrows and pubic! Hair on head was not a major problem for me as I have been folically challenged for some years and you would be hard pressed to notice any difference! Positive mental attitude is the key. Support from family and friends as well as work colleagues is a huge bonus. I have been blessed with both and I am grateful for it. Having a wife who just happens to be a nurse is obviously another bonus for me. She is aware of the issues but I believe she too has learnt a great deal from my diagnosis. This message is purely for your awareness and not a platform for me to boast about my journey through cancer treatment to date. If you are able to detect lumps yourself, or simply ask the GP to check for you at a well man clinic visit, you may well be saving yourself from much longer, and it has to be said, challenging treatment. I remain very positive re the prognosis and look forward to furthering my career for a good few years yet. Roy Collins.
Hastings and Bexhill Area Breast Cancer Support Group

Gentlemen with Breast Cancer

A number of men do develop breast cancer and we would certainly like to offer support to them. It is a difficult situation for men to accept, some prefer to talk about their "chest wall cancer or tumour" instead of their breast cancer. Breast Cancer Care does have a helpline for men which many have found useful. They may also put you in touch with others if you wish. Obviously, Pink Ladies is attended primarily by women, but if a chat with one or more of our members would be helpful, please call one of us on the numbers listed to talk through the situation to see if we can be of help to you. We are all facing the uncertainty of this worrying disease and want to help each other through it.
This article was written by Roy Collins, a local guy who has recently been through breast cancer treatment

BREAST CANCER IN MEN - Are we aware it does apply to

blokes as well?

We men eh? What are we like? We are very aware of breast cancer in women. We are bombarded by the media showing us ladies in pink ribbons running here and there for cancer charities and other cancer support groups. All valuable stuff to further the research, and to be applauded. But how many of us realize this is also an issue for men? Well I have news for you guys out there. It is! What’s more, it appears to be on the increase and high time we were checking ourselves for signs. Yes, I hear you, first it’s check your testicles, then look in on your poo for signs of blood and the possibility of issues with bowel cancer. What next I hear you cry. We blokes don’t generally accept its normal behaviour to play with our own boobs. Members of the opposite sex, oh yes, perfectly fine and dandy to check those but no, not a manly thing to do to check one’s own. Goodness, it’s hard enough checking your own testicles but again, if she fancies that job, well that’s fine by us eh? Seriously guys, it’s time we bothered. Google breast cancer in men and you will be amazed. I know statistics can be mind blowing at times but these we ignore at our peril. There are prime age groups among us men who are more susceptible as there are in women. Mid to late 40’s and up seem to be favourite. I was diagnosed at 57 after my wife asked about an inverted nipple on my right breast. I have to say I was not overly concerned as temperature changes will alter the appearance as I’m sure you will agree, 57 and a very healthy 57 at that. No health problems to worry about in all that time. Me, I’m indestructible! Aren’t I? Nevertheless, off to the doc and within a very short space of time I found myself in Hastings Conquest Hospital running the gambit of tests to confirm or deny the presence of something nasty. It was indeed confirmed as a cancerous lump and had grown to 6cm in size with lymph nodes under the right arm also infected. It could have been detected earlier and if so may well have been treated differently with less invasive surgery. As it is a full mastectomy of the right breast and clearance of lymph nodes was scheduled followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy. Radiotherapy will then follow for a further 2-3 weeks and finally 5 years’ worth of tablets to control hormone levels.  Do you really need me to repeat the bit about checking your breasts? I am by nature a very positive person and, like most of us blokes I’m sure, if we have a choice of sort it or sit on it we will choose the former. Operation, chemo, radio and whatever else it takes. Just get rid of it! This has been my philosophy and 3 weeks away from my last dose of chemo I appear to be doing ok. Yes there are side effects. Fortunately for me they have been minimal. Sore mouth, hard to swallow at times, diarrhoea but only rarely, aching joints due to injections for increasing white cells to fight off infections, (rather important that one) but after a couple of weeks you notice an increase in red cells that have taken a knock, the tiredness isn’t such an issue and your daily walks are easier. Taste can also be an issue and foods you are so used to, become more like cardboard. However, choose soups and with me, syrup flavoured porridge was a godsend. Oh, and you do lose your hair! And not only the hair on your head, try eyelashes, legs, eyebrows and pubic! Hair on head was not a major problem for me as I have been folically challenged for some years and you would be hard pressed to notice any difference! Positive mental attitude is the key. Support from family and friends as well as work colleagues is a huge bonus. I have been blessed with both and I am grateful for it. Having a wife who just happens to be a nurse is obviously another bonus for me. She is aware of the issues but I believe she too has learnt a great deal from my diagnosis. This message is purely for your awareness and not a platform for me to boast about my journey through cancer treatment to date. If you are able to detect lumps yourself, or simply ask the GP to check for you at a well man clinic visit, you may well be saving yourself from much longer, and it has to be said, challenging treatment. I remain very positive re the prognosis and look forward to furthering my career for a good few years yet. Roy Collins.
Hastings and Bexhill Area Breast Cancer Support Group