Breast Cancer: The killer of the quiet (hero) man

Like many guys out there when it comes to my own personal health I can be my own worst enemy.

It’s just a back pain it will go away. A few painkillers and a bottle of beer will soon sort that out.

It’s just chest pain, probably something I ate, a little bit of trapped wind most likely.

What’s that little lump? Probably an ingrown hair.

Why is my wife constantly trying to feed me rabbit food, does she not know that it’s the equivalent of kryptonite to me?

All these celebrity men with bodies like dolphins, how much surgery did they need to look like that? Surely none of that is real?

Anyway, like my dad, I am practically immortal. I have to be strong, the protector, take any pain and problems I have and bury them because that’s the way ‘real’ men are.

This, my fellow man beasts, is some of the nonsense I have been feeding myself for years. I know I’m not alone in my unconscious ability to sweep this stuff under the matt and disregard it. It’s easier to do this than address what could be a problem. Easier for everyone really, isn’t it? Nobody want’s to hear me nagging on about lumps and bumps under my hairy exterior? I have more important things to do like put the blue bin out, change the oil in the car and catch spiders to stop everyone screaming.

The truth is when it comes to physical health men really do get the short straw. It’s mainly due to all the physiological noise I highlighted above and the many other reasons that men will have to put off the important stuff when it comes to their own physical health. Peel back the layers of masculinity, pride and confidence and we know deep down inside that this stuff is beyond important. It really may be life or death if we don’t address it.

This month is breast cancer awareness month, we will see pink things pop up everywhere and for good reason. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. Covid is bad, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Breast cancer is also extremely bad killing almost a thousand people in the UK each month. Roughly one person every 45 minutes. Around 55,000 women and 370 men in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. If we look specifically at males, from an average of 370 males diagnosed approximately 80 will die. That’s roughly 22% of the average yearly cases. However, the number of deaths due to breast cancer can be reduced by up to 25% if action is taken early. The maths on this really says a lot.

The truth? ‘Real’ men do address these things. Why? Because ultimately you only get one shot in this life. One shot at being a hero to your loved ones. Our health is our own personal responsibility to look after. It’s better to know what is happening and look for treatment if you need it. It may just make all the difference.

The pandemic has created such awareness for everyone about the fragility of our physical and mental health. It’s also given us some misconceptions about what health services are available to us if we need them. It’s fair to say that many of us feel that it’s a time ‘not to bother’ the NHS as they have so much to deal with. This may be true in some respects, but equally, that is not a reason for us guys to manifest this as an excuse to put off the really important stuff when it comes to our physical health. Yes, it may take a little longer to get your GP on the phone. Yes, it may be a bit of a procedure to go through the process to check if somethings wrong. But that’s a small drop in the ocean in comparison to knowing you had the opportunity to do something about it and didn’t.

If you are reading this and have any concerns about your physical health please take some time to check out the links below. Follow the guidance and advice and do please take action to speak with someone if you need help:

Cancer Research UK – Get to know the symptoms

Macmillan – Understand what treatments are available for men

Breast Cancer Now – Speak to someone in confidence and get support

Thank you for reading and please do take action if you need to

Take good care of yourself and stay safe,

share the love
Tony Baker
Tony Baker

Director & Co-Founder at Humans of Code

Articles: 12