The only UK-wide breast cancer support charity has released an updated version of its free specialist pack written specifically for men. The pack addresses the emotional and practical aspects of a diagnosis, as well as treatment and beyond, aiming to tackle the isolation and confusion men with breast cancer often feel. Around 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK and many are frustrated to find that most information available is aimed at women and not relevant to them.
Expert nurses at Breast Cancer Care created the comprehensive resource, Men with breast cancer, to provide men with tailored, up-to-date, information about breast cancer. Rachel Rawson, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said:
“Men diagnosed with breast cancer can often feel very isolated or embarrassed about discussing their diagnosis with others and often don’t receive the specific information and support that they need.
“To help tackle this, we have developed this pack which provides men with tailored, comprehensive information. Its easy to follow format clearly explains each stage of diagnosis and treatment and includes information about types of breast cancer, treatment options and potential side effects.
“We hope this resource will really improve men’s experience of breast cancer, helping them to understand what to expect and feel empowered and informed.”
The pack includes quotes from men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, providing an insight into their experience. These personal tips are valuable support for men who might never meet another man with breast cancer.
Men with personal experience of breast cancer have also reviewed the information pack to ensure it met their needs. Clive Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and reviewed the new edition. He said:
“I didn’t realise that men could develop breast cancer, so it was a total shock when I was diagnosed with the disease six years ago. I had great support from my family but I didn’t meet any other men who knew what I was going through. At treatment appointments I was the only man.
“Most of the information and support is tailored to women, so this Breast Cancer Care information pack for men is vital. It makes a massive difference to have something just for men and talking about the issues that can affect you. I wish I had known about this resource when I was diagnosed, it will help men feel they aren’t alone.”
The information pack covers signs and symptoms of breast cancer and awareness, essential for early diagnosis. It also focuses on health and wellbeing issues men might face during and after treatment, such as changes to their body after surgery and side effects from treatment, as well as practical tips on how to manage them.
Importantly, Men with Breast Cancer deals with every step from diagnosis and treatment through to moving forward after treatment and how to adjust to a ‘new normal’, which is often overlooked. The publication is part of Breast Cancer Care’s bespoke range of free publications, online and phone support services for men with breast cancer, many providing men with the chance to speak to others in a similar situation.
Copies of Breast Cancer Care’s Men with Breast Cancer information pack can be ordered or downloaded free of charge from www.breastcancercare.org.uk