David McCallion, from Manchester England, was 55 years old when he noticed changes in one of his breasts. He first thought it was related to a previous diagnosis of Gynecomastia, which is a condition that makes breast tissue swell in boys and men. It can happen when the balance of two hormones in your body is thrown off. David assumed it was due to a diagnosis of this condition four years before, that his nipple was inverted. After six weeks, he decided to see his doctor, because he was unsure as to what was happening.
In hindsight, David wished he had gone earlier when the inversion first presented. His advice to everyone is seek a medical opinion on any visible changes to your chest, and never just assume it’s something else.
This is David’s take on his game-changing medical diagnosis.
Breast Cancer sucks big time, but as a man in a predominately pink world that is Breast Cancer, it’s a lonely place because those like you are rare, and rarer still are those who openly talk about it.
So, I decided to talk openly about this disease in order to leave a light on, or the proverbial door open for any other man to stop by and talk.
When we talk to each other, we realize we are not alone in this battle, and it really is okay to talk.
I was diagnosed in 2019 with a Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
I had a full mastectomy, then an axillary clearance as the cancer had flagged up in the sentinel lymph node biopsy. I then had Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. I did in the first eighteen months take hormone therapies. But I had to stop due to side effects.
In 2022 (delayed due to Covid) I was tested for the BRCA 1 and 2 Gene abnormality. I was diagnosed with BRCA2, this led me to have my left breast removed as a precautionary measure.
It’s important to be aware that if cancers are in your family history to consider taking this test. My mother and sister both had types of breast cancer. But the Gene default actually came from my father’s side of my family which came as a bit of a shock.
There were family members on my dad’s side as well as him, whom had had cancers, and the genetics test highlighted that link.
It’s equally important that if you have the Gene default to tell siblings and your own children. They too have the right to know if they are potentially at risk.
Male Breast cancer is rare, and the Genetics test is offered as a matter of cause in the UK, you do need to mentally prepare for the result.
Not so much for yourself but for the responsibility you then have to tell others.
Male Breast Cancer is not an easy subject to discuss with others, but my advice is, overcome stigma, shyness, and taboos, and talk to everyone you meet. You literally could save someone’s life. No one has literally died of embarrassment, have they?
But men do die from MBC.