TV builder Tommy tells of his breast cancer scare as disease figures rise
Cancer is on the rise across England, new figures show – and breast, prostate, lung cancer and breast cancer are the most prevalent.
The Office for National Statistics reveals there were 299,923 new cancer diagnoses in 2015 – the most ever noted in a single year.
That is the equivalent of 822 every day.
And men had more cancers than women – 153,061 of the registered cancers were among men and 146,862 among women.
Worryingly, in 2014, the number of new cancer registrations in England was 296,863 in 2014 – an increase of 4,183 from the same point in 2013.
And in another frightening revelation recent figures show that last year, about 2,600 men were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Celebrity builder Tommy Walsh has revealed his own breast cancer scare.
He said, most people don’t realise that men can get breast cancer but about 400 get it every year. And about 75 die.
Tommy said: “There is a bit of a historical family connection to breast cancer, one of my sisters had a lumpectomy for breast cancer when she was 31.She is now cured but it meant she hasn’t been able to have children, a difficult decision that she and her partner had to make at the time.
“On my dad’s side, my aunt contracted breast cancer and left it untreated. It was very sad, as she was a lovely woman.
“Then one day in 2002, I noticed a couple of lumps on the right side of my chest. I was going to see the doctor anyway and mentioned it these.
“Because of my family history, the doctor suggested that I see a consultant. He said it was probably nothing but made the decision to investigate, removing the lumps and having them checked.
“I was being a bit of a bloke and buried myself in my work and then went along for the day surgery where the lumps were removed under a general anaesthetic.
“It was only then that it sort of hit me that this could actually be serious and I could have breast cancer, like my relatives.
“Luckily for me, the test results showed that the lumps were benign but it was a bit of a wake-up call about the disease.”
The causes of breast cancer are still unclear, but obesity is a problem and individuals who have a family history of breast cancer in either males or females are at risk.
Age plays a part in the chances of developing breast cancer, with the majority of cases affecting men over 60. There is typically one new case of breast cancer diagnosed in every 100,000 men annually.
The most common symptom is a hard but painless lump in one of the breasts. It is usually found underneath the nipple and dark-coloured skin surrounding the nipple, which is known as the areola.
Breast cancer in men can also cause nipples to retract.
There are a number of ways to lower your risk, including maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol intake to 14 units or less a week can also help. One unit is approximately half a pint of lager or a single measure of spirits.