Breast Cancer charity to raise awareness in men

Charity Breast Cancer Care (BCC) is this week kicking off a campaign to promote awareness that men can get breast cancer.

It has produced a booklet, 'Men with breast cancer', launched this Wednesday at a joint conference hosted with Breast Cancer Campaign at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

Breast cancer in men is rare, but with around 300 cases diagnosed in the UK every year the BCC has written the guide in an effort to promote awareness of the disease among the public.

It will also be given to health professionals to explain the different physical and psychological pressures endured by male sufferers.

BCC nurse consultant Emma Pennery said because almost all breast cancer resources are aimed at women, health professionals have much less experience in caring for men with the condition, leaving male patients feeling 'very much alone'.

The booklet will be sent to the Department of Health and cancer units around the country, and information on how to receive a copy will be posted on BCC's website.

Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, whose father died from the disease, is also lending his support to the campaign.

BCC head of communications Christina McGill said the charity would be promoting the guide to health professionals through the mainstream nursing press and smaller cancer-specific trade publications.

The guide will also be sent to health editors in the national and regional press, as well as consumer titles.

'Women are often the gatekeepers of their partner's health, so we will be sending the booklet and case studies to women's consumer titles,' said McGill. 'But as most men who develop this disease are over 60 we will be targeting older consumer magazines such as Saga and websites dealing with topics such as hair loss.'

Younger men would also be targeted through the health press with the message 'look after dad', she added.

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