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Meet David

Hi, I’m David and I was 74 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn’t really believe it at first as I thought men having breast cancer was almost unheard of, but numerous tests revealed otherwise. I was extremely lucky with my diagnosis as I was in hospital having kidney stones removed at the time, my urologist did a routine chest x-ray which showed something was wrong so I was immediately sent for further tests.

I was assigned to a surgeon straight away, his name was Mr Jmor and he was absolutely fantastic, he talked me through all the available treatment options so I was very aware of everything I had to expect. My GP gave me a great piece of advice, which still sticks in my mind today, “hit it hard and have the operation”, which is exactly what I did.

I went in for the operation on 14th February this year and knowing I had a lot of support from my friends and family kept me strong throughout, everyone wanted to know what they could do to help but just having them there was enough. The cancer teams at Ormskirk and Southport Hospitals were also fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for the care they gave me. A special thank you must go to Janet, the breast specialist Nurse who was always available with a sympathetic "ear" and moral support for both myself and wife

It was quite a difficult time to get through as my wife, Irene, was also ill at the same time. We had to rely heavily on the help and support of others which wasn’t always easy but we managed and we’re both here to tell the tale today.

Learning to cope once I’d been diagnosed with cancer was the most difficult part, some people like to keep it to themselves but the best way for me to get through it was to talk about it. My wife was my rock throughout and she used to make me get up, get dressed and stay active, leading as normal a life as possible was key in getting my life back on track.

I’m now a member of the Sefton Cancer Locality Partnership Group, I really wanted to be involved so I could share my experience and give something back following the care and treatment I received. Talking openly about my illness is a great way for me get through what’s happened and I also get involved with lots of different activities through the group which is great and it keeps me occupied.

If I could give someone in a similar situation to me any advice, it would be...

  • Set yourself goals
  • Have someone to push and encourage you and keep you out of the doldrums
  • Talk openly about your illness - you will be amazed at how supportive everyone is

These are my messages for Action on Cancer...

  • Do talk openly about your illness and any concerns
  • Keep busy and active
  • Never feel alone – there is a lot of support out there
  • Men do get breast cancer
  • Cancer is not the killer it once was

Breast Cancer in men...

  • In 2009, 371 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK
  • Among men, breast cancer is the 26th most common cancer
  • Breast cancer incidence in males is strongly related to age. In the UK between 2007 and 2009, around 65% of male breast cancer cases were in men aged 65 years and over
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