October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Southern Trust along with patient Ian Cranston aim to raise awareness of the disease with staff and members of the public by encouraging all women AND MEN to be more aware of what is normal for their breasts so that any changes can be discovered early.

70 year-old Ian Cranston from Portadown was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on 11 May 2017. He said “When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I was in complete shock, I thought breast cancer only happened to women.”

Many people don’t know that men can get breast cancer because they aren’t aware that men have breasts. But men do have a small amount of breast tissue behind their nipples and this is where breast cancer can develop.

Annie Treanor, Southern Trust Breast Care Specialist Nurse said “Although Breast Cancer in men is rare it does occur and it is most common in men over the age of 60.”

“Being breast aware is part of caring for your body. Signs and symptoms to look out for are similar to that of a female and include; an inverted nipple, a lump anywhere within the breast tissue, nipple discharge, ulceration or swelling.”

“If you notice any changes in the breast it is important that you attend your GP. They may refer you to a breast clinic to have a detailed assessment. Please don’t worry about making a fuss, and do remember that most breast changes will not be cancer. However if it is breast cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the more effective treatment may be.”

Ian received breast cancer diagnosis at Craigavon Area Hospital’s Glenanne Unit and on 25 May had a mastectomy (removal of a breast) which was successful in removing the cancer.

“I am extremely grateful to all the Health Care Professionals who treated me in such a kind and timely manner; they made an extremely worrying and stressful situation as calming and positive as possible for me. I am now doing really well and only have to take one tablet a day as my treatment along with some daily arm exercises. I urge all men, young and old to be breast aware.” – Says Ian Cranston.

Throughout the month of October the Southern Trust is hosting a number or Breast Cancer Awareness events and will provide information and advice about the Breast Screening Service including specialist care and support available for breast cancer patients, during and after cancer treatment.