Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is raising awareness amongst the Australian community that men get breast cancer too by acknowledging Male
Breast Cancer Awareness Day for the first time on 20 October 2017.
This year it is expected that 144 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While this is a small proportion of the total number of people diagnosed – less than 1 per cent – it’s a diagnosis that can bring very specific challenges for men.
BCNA CEO Christine Nolan said men who are diagnosed with breast cancer often face a unique set of challenges.
“Men who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t usually have access to clinical trials, there is a lack of tailored information to support them and they often face a stigma in the community when they tell people about their diagnosis because they have what is often considered ‘a woman’s disease’,” Christine said. “Men also tend to be diagnosed at a later stage due to this low public awareness that men can get breast cancer and this can often lead to a poorer prognosis.”
In 2016 BCNA consulted with a number of men with breast cancer to learn about their needs and what more could be done to better support them. As a result of this project BCNA has extended the tailored information it sends to newly diagnosed men to include a copy of Professor John Boyages’ book Male breast cancer as well as BCNA’s Men get breast cancer too booklet.
“We are really pleased that our recent consultation project has fostered opportunities for Australian men with breast cancer to gain skills in consumer advocacy and awareness-raising. More of our male members are becoming powerful advocates for Australian men with breast cancer and there is no doubt this will positively impact the cancer journey for other men who are diagnosed,” Christine said.
BCNA has 130,000 members around the country and 220 members are men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Two male members attended BCNA’s biennial Summit in March 2017 for the first time.
BCNA will be promoting Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day on its social media channels and encourages the community to share posts and Tweets to help raise awareness that men get breast cancer too.
Follow Breast Cancer Network Australia on Facebook and @BCNAPinkLady on Twitter to help promote the inaugural Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day on 20 October 2017.
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