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Male Breast Cancer: Taking Control

All you need to know to “take control” after a diagnosis of male breast cancer.

Male breast cancer is not common and often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Using the familiar image of a garden and a personal, plain English style, renowned breast cancer specialist Professor John Boyages, MD, PhD, walks you slowly through the stress and confusion of diagnosis, treatment, and life after male breast cancer.

In Male Breast Cancer: Taking Control, John Boyages provides you with all the information you or your family and friends need to take control, maximize your survival, and find your path to recovery.

Learn how to:

  • Know the difference between “man boobs” and male breast cancer
  • Have the right tests for an earlier diagnosis
  • Avoid under- or overtreatment
  • Ask your treatment team the right questions
  • Choose treatments for your breast and lymph nodes
  • Deal with stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sexuality during and after treatment
  • Understand when chemotherapy is really required
  • Get specific up-to-date information for male breast cancer and avoid pamphlets designed for females
  • Achieve a more positive state of mind through inspiring and motivating patient stories and key take-home messages

Some key features: 

  • “Traffic-light” colors guide you through treatment phases
  • 20 color-coded “Control Points”
  • Clear end of chapter “Warning”, “Tip” and “Remember” icons and summaries
  • End of chapter take home messages
  • 10 real-life patient stories
  • Plain English style with garden and other analogies to explain your breast cancer and its treatment
  • Over 50 images and graphically designed diagrams
  • Over 70 hand-picked web links
  • Detailed glossary, key references and index (print version)

Within this book, there is a wealth of essential information and insight that I really wish had been available to me when I was diagnosed 10 years ago. This book will definitely help many men diagnosed with breast cancer now, and in the future, gain strength, support and a positive state of mind.
– Herbert Paul Wagner, Male breast cancer survivor, advocate and CEO of A Man’s Pink


Foreword

In April 2014 I had a mastectomy. I was 67 years old, and very busy in my life after politics. I was in disbelief when I heard those words “you have breast cancer” it’s not something you ever think about, a man with breast cancer.

Like me, you may have ignored the signs. For me, it was a spot of blood on my shirt. When it was occurring a few months later, I had it checked out. The GP said it was probably “topical” and gave me some cream but advised that I could get a mammogram, as blood can be an ominous sign. Yet, feeling no discomfort, and never having encountered a man with breast cancer, I did not act. Then about 6 months later, I felt the dreaded lump. I went for a mammogram and a biopsy confirmed cancer. Surgery was arranged and not long after I had my left breast removed. “Someone commented that ‘Nick Greiner and breast cancer don’t belong in the same sentence’.”

Breast cancer is often considered a women’s cancer and associated with pink! Although it receives significant publicity it is a cancer rarely associated with men and there are few male specific resources available. Enter Professor John Boyages’ new book. This invaluable handbook walks you (or a loved one) through the hurdles of male breast cancer, from diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer. As well as providing current, well-researched medical information, John provides you with all the tools to you need to handle the medical, social, mental and physical challenges that you may face after your diagnosis.

Although male breast cancer is rare it is important that men feel comfortable to talk about it, to note that this can happen and not to ignore the medical signs, as we men have a tendency to do! Male Breast Cancer: Taking Control fills the information gap for male breast cancer sufferers.

The Hon Nick Greiner AC
Former Premier of New South Wales, Australia

I am a 9-year breast cancer survivor. Although very rare, approximately 1% of all breast cancer is diagnosed in men. It is estimated (in 2010) that about 2000 men in the US, approximately 200 men in Canada, 400 in the United Kingdom and 125 in Australia were diagnosed annually with male breast cancer (MBC). As a result, approximately 450 men in the US, 45 men in Canada, 80 in the UK and 25 in Australia will die from this disease each year. When diagnosed with the same type and grade of tumor at the same stage, the prognosis and treatment options for men are similar to that for women. Unfortunately, the overall prognosis for men is not as good as for women because, more often than not, MBC is diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage. Consequently, the survival rate for men diagnosed with breast cancer is about 76% compared to about 87% for women. This is in part due to the fact that many men are unaware that breast cancer is a disease that can affect them and also because men, in generally, are reluctant to seek medical advice, especially about a breast issue. Consequently, my mission has become to increase MBC awareness and therefore, early detection. You can read my story later in this book (Herb’s Story).

In 2009 we established “A Man’s Pink”, an organization to support our website, www.malebreastcancer.ca, (to increase MBC awareness and to provide information and support to other MBC patients and survivors and their support teams) and in August 2011, incorporated A Man’s Pink as a non-profit organization in Canada and in January 2012 in Florida. We received 501(c)(3) charitable status in the United States in March of 2012.

As a MBC survivor, the information and support provided in this book is long overdue, especially for the men who have recently been diagnosed with this disease, and for the survivors who continue their battle with breast cancer. Within this book, there is a wealth of essential information and insight that I really wish had been available to me when I was diagnosed 10 years ago. To realize that MBC awareness and acceptance continues to increase assures me that we are continuing to make a difference. This book will definitely help many men diagnosed with breast cancer now, and in the future, gain the strength, the support and the positive state of mind that is required to deal with their diagnosis and ensuing journey.

Many thanks John,
Be Positive – Be Well

Herbert Paul Wagner, Male Breast Cancer Survivor, Advocate and CEO of A Man’s Pink

When diagnosed with male breast cancer 4 years ago, my doctor gave me a copy of Prof John Boyages book Breast Cancer, Taking Control. I found this book incredibly helpful in understanding this illness inspite of the fact that the book was written primarily with women’s breast cancer in mind. The book is comprehensive, very well written and most importantly easy to understand. It really did help me in taking control of my life after my breast cancer diagnosis.

Ron Gordon, Perth, Western Australia


Male-Breast-Cancer-cover

One Response to "Male Breast Cancer: Taking Control"

  • Stephen Holt
    February 25, 2015 - 1:41 am Reply

    This is great news and it is information that would have been useful for me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 24 years ago. But, I realise information is gathered over time and now in what looks like, to be a very informative book.

    Our club will definitely purchase some of these books to work alongside the presentations our club gives to communities regarding “men get breast cancer too”.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37 (my mother died of BC at the age of 41). I have been involved in dragon boating in Adelaide for the past 12 years, promoting “men get breast cancer too”, and have been regarded as the Bearded Lady. Members of our club participate in breast cancer regattas and it was only in the first year of our involvement 12 years ago, that I was refused entry into a breast cancer forum, as I was a male and men don’t get breast cancer! Fantastic, how times have changed!

    We have promoted our cause by being very visible, not only in South Australia, but in other regions of Australia, New Zealand and in Venice. Our club has always worked at informing the community about men and breast cancer, and I hope with the publication of this book, that men out there who have had this diagnosis, will come forward and become more visible and vocal in our community.

    Great news and many thanks for putting the issue out there.

    Steve Holt
    President
    Adelaide Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat Club
    http://www.adelaidesurvivorsabreast.inc

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