Kyogle man left stunned by diagnosis
WHEN Jack Ellis, of Kyogle, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year his friends were stunned.
Their shock was compounded by the common misconception that breast cancer is only a women's disease.
Most people are completely unaware that about 100 men are diagnosed with the disease in Australia each year.
According to research, several factors combine to create a deadly situation for men: firstly, they are often diagnosed late because of their general reluctance to have check-ups and also because few are aware they can get the disease; and secondly, because the male breast is so small, any tumour is relatively big and can spread very quickly.
As fortune would have it, Jack had read an article much like this two years earlier and actually found his tumour himself.
Doctors had found a secondary cancer under his arms and were looking for the primary tumour when Jack detected a small lump under his nipple.
He has since had a mastectomy and is well into a treatment program of chemotherapy and radiation and the prognosis is looking good.
Like many cancer survivors, Jack feels he has been given a second chance at life and is keen to support other men who might be struggling with a situation like his.
“It is important that people talk about male breast cancer to increase awareness. I have a strong history of breast cancer on both sides of my family, but had never thought I could get it.”
The National Breast Cancer Centre and the Breast Cancer Network Australia have information on their websites.