The 55-year-old David McCallion from Manchester, U.K., was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before his 30th wedding anniversary, and even his own doctor assumed that his wife was the patient when they talked about the diagnosis.
David had a mastectomy, but he was left feeling as though “real men” don’t get breast cancer. So, he decided to look for support online. Sadly, though, he couldn’t join the support groups because he was a man, and it meant that it would prevent other members from opening up about their own concerns.
He told Mail Online that he was made to feel like he was ‘muscling in’ the groups, but the last thing he wanted to do was jump up and down saying that he’s got breast cancer too.
Research says that 390 men are diagnosed with the condition in the U.K. every year, and 80 of them don’t make it. David said that if the other 389 men feel anything like he did, something needs to be done with the problem. He added that he will never be the same person he was before his diagnosis. Even though “cancer is lonely”, he said that being a man in the “ping world” of breast cancer is even lonelier.
The 55-year-old complained that when he tells other men about his diagnosis, he often gets told that ‘men don’t get breast cancer’. He also noted that he often gets “mocked” about not being a man.
David is a father of two, and he now wants to break taboos around male breast cancer. He was diagnosed with gynaecomastia back in 2015, which is a common condition in men, but he noticed that his right nipple was inverted in 2019, and he thought it must be linked to the condition. When he referred to the Royal Oldham Hospital, and the doctor told him that there was a 99 percent chance that it was going to be cancer. The first thing David thought at that moment was how he was going to tell his family.
When he went back to the hospital with his wife, even the doctor thought that it was his wife that had cancer, and not David. In fact, David had to tell him personally that it was him that had cancer.
He had his full mastectomy surgery sometime later, and it was successful.
David started off the #bluegetittoo awareness campaign as his treatment progressed by which he wants to raise awareness about male breast cancer, and he’s keen to make men aware that breast cancer can affect them, too.