Health, Science

Men: You can get breast cancer


Every year in the UK thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer. What you do not now is that there are also a number of men who have been affected by the disease.

Rick Martin-Bacon, Ex-British Army commander, had fallen victim to breast cancer in 2012. Despite undergoing tough conditions during his military service that left him blind in one eye, he could not come to terms with the news that he had breast cancer.

“Like many men I wasn’t even imagining I could get breast cancer,” said Rick. “I first noted a brown stain on my shirt near my right nipple, and I assumed nothing of it.”

One symptoms of breast cancer is a blood-like discharge. Rick becomes concerned when he discovered a lump beneath his skin.” I was reading a Facebook post from a friend who had listed several symptoms of breast cancer. When I realized that I had a third of the symptoms, I went straight to my doctor.”

Jane Murphy, an expert in breast cancer, points out that though breast cancer is rare in men, men should see their GP if they notice the following symptoms:

  • A lump near the breast, and close to the nipple.
  • Blood-stained discharge from the nipple
  • A tender or inverted nipple
  • Swelling in the chest area
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm

Young men can also fall victim of breast cancer. In the US, where the lives of more than 450 men are claimed by breast cancer  annually, Bret Miller is leading an awareness campaign for male breast cancer. Bret noticed that he had cancer symptoms when he was just 17 years.” We had no medical insurance during that time, thus at a school physical night, I requested doctors to examine the lump but they were not concerned.”

In 2010, Bret went for a check-up and the doctor who examined him was concerned. A surgery was done and some tissues were taken from his nipple. “The doctor called me later and informed me that I had breast cancer.” By the help of chemotherapy, he lived to see another day.

Rick is now Breast Cancer Care ambassador and this month he will be part of the group creating breast cancer awareness.