A-Z

David S - Interview 11

Age at interview: 60
Age at diagnosis: 51
Brief Outline: David was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Initially he had a lumpectomy but required a mastectomy when his tumour was found to be bigger than expected. He then developed a blood clot in his wound that had to be surgically removed. He did not require any chemotherapy or radiotherapy and took tamoxifen for five years.
Background: David is a retired laboratory technician, he is divorced. Ethnic background' White British (English).

More about me...

 David monitored a lump he had found in his breast for some months before seeing his GP about it. Prior to his diagnosis he had not known that men could get breast cancer. He had a lumpectomy first but then 2 weeks later a mastectomy. He stayed in hospital for 11 days after his mastectomy; he had a blood clot which had to be treated. He still has some difficulties with his arm following surgery which reminds him of his illness but now, 10 years on from his diagnosis, he doesn’t really worry about his cancer recurring. He had tamoxifen after his surgery and felt that this had made him put on some weight.

 
He received some written information from a breast care nurse and his surgeon, and he looked on the internet for more. However he found his hospital experience to be isolating because of his profound deafness. During his consultations he relied on lip-reading. His mother and sisters supported him throughout his illness and would be present with him at appointments to ensure he was getting the information he required. He used internet forums as a way of communicating with other men and women with breast cancer and enjoyed the support he received from them.
 
Before he had his surgery, he was unsure what his scar would look like. He found that when he took his shirt off on a beach nobody seemed to notice his scar. He has also shown his scar on a television programme for deaf viewers. 
 
After three months he resumed work and carried on with his life as though his breast cancer was an interruption. He raises awareness of breast cancer in men in the deaf community and is an active member of Breast Cancer Care.
 
 

David S put on weight whilst taking Tamoxifen, and thought he had maybe been more forgetful.

David S put on weight whilst taking Tamoxifen, and thought he had maybe been more forgetful.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
When did you start the tamoxifen? Was it just after the surgery?
 
Straight after surgery.
 
And what was your experience of that?
 
The experience?
 
The experience, how did you find the tamoxifen?
 
I think I put on weight. That’s all.
 
Did you see changes in your body?
 
Not that I noticed.
 
Not that you noticed? OK.
 
Other people .. (missed sentence)
 
So you didn’t have, apart from the weight, you didn’t have any other side effects? No pains in the arms, heavy or…?
 
No.
 
I might have been more forgetful.
 
Right.
 
But nothing really.
 
Right, OK. So you managed to take tamoxifen for the five years?
 
Oh yes.

 

 

David S would like to have known more about having breast cancer as a man when he was first...

David S would like to have known more about having breast cancer as a man when he was first...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Did the hospital ever say to you about support groups for you to go?
 
No. There was some leaflets for Macmillan, Cancer Bacup or something. Apart from that, no.
 
But you didn’t meet anyone else? So, like, the…?
 
No.
 
Would you have liked to?
 
If I could communicate with them then yes.
 
You would?
 
They said, did I want to talk but I would have had to find it for myself.
 
Breast cancer care, they do a peer support, but it’s telephone, I think.
 
By phone
 
Did you get a chance to talk to another man?
 
No.
 
No?
 
No.
 
Would you have liked to?
 
At the beginning yes.
 
Why at the beginning?
 
Before the operation, to ask about the operation.
 
To get more information?
 
I wanted to know what the scar would look like
 
 
 

David S first had the lump removed, but two weeks later he was told that he would need a mastectomy.

David S first had the lump removed, but two weeks later he was told that he would need a mastectomy.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

 I discovered a lump about 10 years ago.

 
I didn’t do anything for about 4 or 5 months. Then I went to my GP. He examined me and he said he didn’t think there was anything to worry about, but would send me for a check up and about two weeks later went to the breast care ?? to see the surgeon. Had a needle put in to take something out.
 
A biopsy?
 
Had a mammogram… had a scan. I was told to come back the same afternoon. But I got back, they said I had breast cancer.
 
Right.
 
About a week later I had a lumpectomy. I had the lump out. I stayed in hospital two nights. Two weeks later I went back to hospital and they said it had spread a bit and had to it all taken out.
 

David was on his own when he got his diagnosis. He just wanted them to remove the cancer.

David was on his own when he got his diagnosis. He just wanted them to remove the cancer.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

 When you got your diagnosis, when they told you you had breast cancer, were you there by yourself or was someone else with you?

 
I was on my own.
 
You were on your own?
 
Yes.
 
And how did you feel when they told you that?
 
I thought it was very interesting. They were very surprised. They thought I’d be upset but I thought it was interesting.
 
Right, OK.
 
Just thought, well it’s cancer. Let’s take it out!
 
So did you just feel that you wanted it done? You wanted the cancer gone?
 
Yes.
 
And how did you feel after the operation when the cancer was gone?
 
I felt alright.
 

David found no-one seemed to notice his scar when he took his shirt off at the beach. He had...

David found no-one seemed to notice his scar when he took his shirt off at the beach. He had...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Has having a mastectomy stopped you doing anything?
 
No.
 
No? Do you swim? Yeah?
 
I took a big shirt off at the beach.
 
You keep a shirt on?
 
Take it off.
 
Take it off, OK.
 
Just to see if I could do it. Nobody seemed to notice.
 
Right, OK.
 
I’ve been on television. Showed the scar.
 
You have?
 
Yeah, a deaf programme.
 
Uhuh, yeah. So you wouldn’t mind if people noticed and even asked you questions on it? Would you mind?
 
Not mind.
 
You wouldn’t mind?
 
Not mind, no.
 
 

 

Previous Page
Next Page