Pink is David’s Signature Colour- Men’s Breast Cancer Story

For men, breast cancer is a rare disease but can still occur.

Typically breast cancer in men is more advanced at diagnosis compared to breast cancer in women. This is due to men being unaware that they can get this type of cancer and don’t go to the doctors if they experience the symptoms. Each year in Australia around 150 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, usually over the age of 50.

David from Queensland who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 was in complete shock when the doctors gave him the diagnosis. David had a mastectomy and started treatment for his cancer then also had chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
“I just don’t think that a lot of men really know that it’s not just women who can get breast cancer, men can get it too.”

What are the signs?

  • The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a painless lump in the breast close to the nipple.
  • Less frequent signs include swollen lymph nodes in the armpit area, discharge from the nipple and/or a change in shape of the breast or nipple.

What are the treatments?

The main treatment for breast cancer in men is a mastectomy which is surgical remove; of the breast including the nipple. Other treatments that may be required include:

  • Radiation therapy aims to destroy any cancer cells that may remain.
  • Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth.
  • Targeted therapy aims to stop the cancer from growing and spreading through the use of drugs to attack the cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy blocks the effect of the body’s natural hormones aiming to shrink a tumour or reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

“I want to help people with cancer, particularly men with cancer. I don’t think there’s enough support out there for men, it just seems us blokes don’t want to get together and talk. Men think that if they share their feelings, they’re soft, I think it just shows how strong you truly are if you’re able to do that!”

- David

Breast cancer in men (Cancer Council Australia). 2021. https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/types-of-cancer/breast-cancer-in-men

McGrath Foundation. 2019. https://www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/blog/mens-breast-cancer/
 

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