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.
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.