Male Breast Cancer – Difficulties [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript
Men with breast cancer

Clive: To be diagnosed with male breast cancer, you feel slightly out of your own environment, if you like. Unless you've had somebody within your family who's had treatment for breast cancer, I don't think many men realize what the treatments are and what they involve and how long they are. I don't think that they understand just exactly how life-altering the situation can be for you and that it can have long-term effects on all sorts of aspects of your life.

Why is having breast cancer so difficult for men?

Debra Horsman, Breast Care Nurse Specialist: It's particularly difficult for men because breast cancer is predominantly a women's disease and that there would be no men that would really ever believe that that could happen to them. Men actually don't tend to go to the doctor with health issues and maybe wouldn't want to be seen to be saying that there is perhaps something wrong in the breast area and would ignore even the symptoms that maybe a woman would pick up on much earlier.

Graham: The worst thing about having breast cancer as a male is that it's a female disease in many people's minds. There's the shock that you've got cancer but then there's all the people around who do not know that males can get breast cancer. And so you're having to help people with that as well as the fact that you've got cancer.

What should a man do?

Just like women, men should go to their GP straightaway as soon as they find anything, obviously in the chest area, either a lump or a swelling, an inversion of the nipple, any discharge from the nipple, particularly blood, and they should actively seek out seeing their GP as quickly as they possibly could. Also, the areas to look are under the arm where if there is swelling there
it is an indication that this could be related to breast cancer.

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