About this story
Nick was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021. He shares his feelings of disbelief that a man could get breast cancer and wants to spread the word.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2021. At first I was shocked, surprised, and didn't understand. I didn’t know men could get breast cancer so I was in disbelief that this could happen to me.
It was one morning in April while I was visiting my sister in Victoria when I noticed a tender lump on my right breast which was about the size of a 5-cent coin. I didn’t think much of it and just attributed the pain to a gardening accident a few weeks prior where I had walked into a branch while mowing the lawn.
However, when I returned home to Queensland, I thought it best to have the lump checked out and fortunately my doctor insisted that it should be investigated further and referred me to have a biopsy. Looking back on it now, I’m extremely grateful for her persistence to have it checked straight away, otherwise my prognosis could’ve been worse.
I was on the Sunshine Coast visiting a friend for their 50th birthday when I received the call from my GP to tell me that it was breast cancer. I was in complete shock and disbelief that a man could have breast cancer. I faced dark moments in the weeks after while I processed my diagnosis and felt embarrassed to admit that I have breast cancer. I'm a male and I have breast cancer.
Throughout my treatment journey, support and connection made the biggest difference to my experience. Through the Wesley Breast Care Clinic in Brisbane, I was put in contact with Jan, a Nursing Manager at the clinic who introduced me to BCNA’s resources for men with breast cancer.
It was through BCNA’s virtual ‘Men’s Forum’ event that I was able to meet other men with breast cancer. It made me feel less alone and helped me realise that there are other people out there going through the same thing and facing the same struggles. Without connection, you have no support. It helps to connect with people who share the same issues and concerns that you do. BCNA made me feel much more at ease to accept my diagnosis.
We need to remove the stigma that breast cancer is just a woman’s disease. It can happen to anybody and it’s on the increase for men. By buying a pink pun you're raising funds, 100 percent of which go to the BCNA, to grow and support that network that all of us need when someone has been diagnosed with cancer, including men.
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Tips to ensure people in same-sex relationships have access to the right health professionals and support following a diagnosis
Let’s be Upfront about the extra challenges and different needs of LGBTIQ+ people when diagnosed with breast cancer.
Let’s be upfront about LGBTIQ+ communities that are affected by breast cancer.
Let’s be Upfront about navigating a breast cancer diagnosis as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Let’s be Upfront about managing expectations.
Let’s be Upfront about the change in perspective that often follows a breast cancer diagnosis.
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.