Welcome to the Malecare online support group for men, their families, caregivers and loved ones, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Anyone being diagnosed with cancer will benefit from peer support and I believe that men with breast cancer have an even greater need for support than most cancer survivors.
As I am sure that you know, most people in the world have no idea that men can and do get breast cancer! The world thinks that breast cancer is only a women's disease, but it isn't.
The best statistics we have tell us that in 2016 about 2,600 new cases of male invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and that around 440 men will die from breast cancer.
Yes, the reality is that breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women, however we should not lose site of the fact that these 2,600 men are people too and that they all have families.
The result of the small numbers of diagnosed men means that all research and treatments are based on a women's hormone system. Men have different hormonal systems, but we are forced to make major clinical decisions based on an estrogen , not testosterone based hormonal system.
Men with breast cancer are also faced with a social stigma that only can be experienced by a man diagnosed with the cancer. The world views breast cancer a women's disease and a man with breast cancer is at best, odd.
I hear the constant stories of men attending breast cancer support groups to then be asked to leave! Why, because the group members say that they discuss body image. Wake up, men with breast cancer also want to discuss their body image. Like their female counterparts, they too have had their breasts removed and have undergone the ravishes of surgery and radiation.
Men with breast cancer are alone, they are very isolated. At Malecare, we are trying to find ways for men to find each other, learn about their disease and perhaps find a way to advocate for some needed changes. We want to broaden the understanding that men get breast cancer. We want researchers and their funders to know this and develop male oriented clinical trials and treatments.
Welcome to your first step in breaking the isolation.