MEN’S BREAST CANCER
LESTER Anderson was surprised when four years ago he was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Blackwater local – who has no history of breast cancer in his family – said the stage one cancer was caught early and he was “lucky” but he had been unaware that men should be on the lookout for signs of breast cancer.
“It’s an area that doesn’t raise much awareness. I was surprised. I thought, ‘Holy moly, what’s going on here?’ ”
However that was not to be Mr Anderson’s final brush with breast cancer, as this week his older brother, Robert, began treatment for stage three breast cancer.
“I think with men it goes unnoticed a lot longer because you think, ‘Why should I get breast cancer? I haven’t got any breast tissue,’ ” he said.
Mr Anderson said his brother had an inverted nipple, which was found to be breast cancer, and he has already had an operation on his right breast and will have chemotherapy and radium treatment.
“I caught mine really early,” he said.
“It was one of those where I felt a bit of a lump in my left breast under the nipple and made an appointment with the doctor straight away.
“The doctor thought it could be scar tissue but organised an ultrasound, which showed there was something there, so I had a needle biopsy, which came back positive. Then I saw the breast cancer specialist in Brisbane.
“I had a deep tissue biopsy which came back positive, so we made arrangements for an operation to remove the tumour the following week.
“I also had the gene test and it came back negative.”
Lester’s sister, Di Hornery, said it was important to raise awareness and understanding of breast cancer for men, which was why she’s been taking part in Breast Cancer Network Australia’s The Pink Butcher campaign.
The Pink Butcher Campaign, involving 180 butchers from around Australia, has been raising funds for breast cancer throughout October, with butchers dressing up their shops – and themselves – in pink.
“Breast cancer for men is definitely not talked about enough,” Ms Hornery said.
“Women have been told and told for years to check our breasts but men haven’t and they must also check their breasts.”
Ms Hornery, who runs Highland Meats in Emerald, said next Saturday she will hold a sausage sizzle and raffle to raise funds for breast cancer.
She said her six staff had been dressing in pink aprons and hats for the campaign’s first national event.
Last year the Pink Butcher campaign was held in South Australia and raised more than $36,000 for BCNA.
It is estimated about one in 750 men will get breast cancer. This year about 17,700 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 144 will be men.
“When one brother got breast cancer, I thought that was just random,” Ms Hornery said.
“But then my second brother also got it.
“Now it makes me even more aware. I do my checks but probably not enough because I’ve always thought that nobody in our family has had cancer.”
Fair Dinkum Meats in Emerald and Clermont Butchery also signed up to take part in The Pink Butcher, which was started by butcher Rodney Sims, whose wife, Pat, is a breast cancer survivor.
Sam Dicicco, who along with Mr Sims is a member of the Australian Meat Industry Council, is also a BCNA member and breast cancer survivor.
BCNA consists more than 130,000 members and 300 member groups and informs, represents and connects Australians affected by breast cancer.
On Saturday, November 4, Ms Hornery will hold a sausage sizzle and raffle at Highland Meats, Emerald, from 8am–2pm to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Tickets for the raffle – a wheelbarrow of goodies – are on sale at Highland Meats.
MALE AWARENESS: Di Hornery runs Highland Meats in Emerald and is participating in the Pink Butcher campaign to raise funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Bob Anderson is receiving treatment for breast cancer.
Lester Anderson had breast cancer three years ago.