It seems like life is perfect for Mark Doel.
He has a loving wife Despo, and two children, Chloe and Christian.
He was young and very sporty. He is an IT analyst that lives in Morden, Surray.
Mark first noticed blood on his bed sheets but did not worry.
In another time, his colleague told him that there was a blood speck on his shirt.
Mark thought that it was just a dry skin.
Despite this problems, he went to a doctor and asked for a creamÂ for the ‘skin condition.’
Then he was said to have breast cancer.
“I had no idea men could get this.”
“There was a huge embarrassment factor. It took awhile for me to be able to talk about it to anyone.”
He added, “If it had been lung or brain cancer, I could have been more open about it. But there’s a stigma that breast cancer is for women. When I told work I was ill, I could not say the words breast cancer, I could only say, ‘I have cancer on my chest.’
Most of us thought that Breast cancer is for women. But in Britain, 300 men a year is diagnosed by breast cancer.
It is quite common on men over age 60, obesity and a family history of breast cancer.
Mark has no family history, and he was just 37 years old when he knew something was wrong when his nipple was sore and would not heal.
What happened was, he got worried when he started to have a bleeding when he scratched it.
He has a private insurance and went to Dr. Dibyesh Barnabee of St. Anthony’s Hospital.
“I’d Googled my symptoms and seen there was a chance it could be breast cancer. But as I was young, male and sporty, Mr. Banarjee said the chances was extremely low.”
Mark shared about his experience.
“He examined me and gave me ultrasoundÂ and within 20 minutes told me that there was nothing there”
“But just in case, he took a biopsy of the nipple and sent the tissue to be examined. I left feeling confident that nothing was wrong.”
After two weeks, he was asked to go to the hospital to talk about the results.
“When I saw Mr. Banarjee’s face, I had that sinking feeling. I heard the word ‘cancer’ and all I could think about were my wife and my children. I think I went into shock because I don’t recall much after that.”
But his cancer was diagnosed early ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) the most common type that forms in the nipple.
They are described by doctors as pre-cancerous because the cancinoma stayed in the duct of the nipple and still did not spread.
Mr. Banarjee said, “Male and female breast cancer are exactly the same.”
“In addition to breast lumps, men and women can present with symptoms such as nipple discharge, change in shape or size of one or both nipples, or persistent swelling of underarm glands.”
“The reason why the ultrasound did not pick up of Mark’s DCISÂ was because it did not form a lump yet.
“Strictly speaking, it is not cancer by definition, cancer means something that will spread to another part of the body.”
“However, DCIS will eventually become cancerous if you don’t treat it, so it’s very important to get it early.”
When he heard that he had breast cancer, he called her wife Despo and immediately decided to go on surgery.
“I must admit I did not know men could get breast cancer. I will never forget going into Dr. Banarjee’s office that day.”
“I’m a practical person and my first thought was: ‘Right, what do we do now?’
He was scheduled for surgery two days after he was diagnosed.
Most of the men who has breast cancer will have their affected entire breast. It is because there is less tissue area than a woman’s breast.
Dr. Banarjee said, “Mark’s mastectomy involved removing the nipple and what little breast tissue there was underneath it and sending it to pathology.”
“The amount of breast tissue on a man really depends on the individual. If he has a ‘man boobs’ it may be equivalent of taking out an A-cup breast, but if he has a flat chest, it’s a lot less.”
Dr. Banarjee also explained that the pathologists slices the tissue millimetre by millimetre and examines the margins to see if the cancerous cells reached the edge.”
He said that in Mark’s case, it was just in the breast so he did not need any additional treatment.
Mark said that he did not need any chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But it gave him quite an emotional stress.
“A few days after the all clear it was like a bang! The stress just hit me.”
“I’d kept going through all of the diagnosis and the operation, but afterwards, I had to take a couple of months off work because I was an emotional wreck.”
“I think something like this is worse for men because we don’t cope well with being out of control – and that’s how this felt.”
In a year, 69 men die in Britain because of Breast Cancer.
He now reveals that he thinks about life differently now.
“I look at life differently now. I used to get wound up by small things. Now, they don’t bother me.”