A Portadown man has told of his shock after being diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago - having believed ‘it only happened to women’.
Seventy-year-old Ian Cranston was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 11, 2017 and had a mastectomy later that month.
men do have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples and this is where breast cancer can develop
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Ian is helping the Southern Trust highlight the disease by encouraging all women and men to be more aware of what is normal for their breasts so that any changes can be discovered early.
He said: “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was in complete shock; I thought breast cancer only happened to women.”
“Many people don’t know that men can get breast cancer because they aren’t aware that men have breasts. But men do have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples and this is where breast cancer can develop.”
Annie Treanor, Southern Trust Breast Care Specialist Nurse said: “Although breast cancer in men is rare, it does occur and it is most common in men over the age of 60.
“Being breast aware is part of caring for your body. Signs and symptoms to look out for are similar to that of a female and include; an inverted nipple, a lump anywhere within the breast tissue, nipple discharge, ulceration or swelling.
“If you notice any changes in the breast it is important that you attend your GP. They may refer you to a breast clinic to have a detailed assessment. Please don’t worry and remember that most breast changes will not be cancer. However, if it is breast cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the more effective treatment may be.”
Ian received breast cancer diagnosis at Craigavon Area Hospital’s Glenanne Unit and on May 25 had a mastectomy, which was successful in removing the cancer.
“I am extremely grateful to all the Health Care Professionals who treated me in such a kind and timely manner; they made an extremely worrying and stressful situation as calming and positive as possible for me,” Ian said.
“I am now doing really well and only have to take one tablet a day as my treatment along with some daily arm exercises. I urge all men, and old to be breast aware.”
In October the Southern Trust is hosting a number or breast cancer awareness events.
For more information log onto: www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-in-men