Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had surgery and radiotherapy before starting tamoxifen. Since his operation he has some swelling in his arm and cannot dig in his allotment the way he used to.
Tom H had knocked his breast whilst moving heavy furniture and did not think it unusual that his breast was extremely painful thereafter. It was his daughter who noticed his breast looked unusual and his nipple had inverted one day while he was digging his allotment topless on a sunny day. She was shocked by what she saw and immediately advised him to see his GP about it. She searched the Internet for potential explanations and found out that breast cancer was a possibility. She then phoned him every day until he made an appointment to see his doctor. He did so within a week to keep her happy.
He had no problems during his treatment apart from some minor skin changes during radiotherapy. He had to use a moisturising cream on the affected area twice daily to soothe the burning and redness.
Before Tom H was diagnosed with breast cancer, his wife was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was still undergoing chemotherapy after he had finished his treatment. His primary concern was for his wife and he did all that he could to help her. Compared to his wife he felt he got a lot of information about his cancer, including a Breast Cancer Care folder for men with breast cancer.
For a while at his allotment he was reluctant to take his shirt off as he did not want to offend or embarrass anyone with his scar. He is not worried about being topless now. He was offered reconstruction but declined as he felt that he did not need it as an older man. He told his family about his diagnosis immediately and he has not kept it a secret in his village. He found some men were reluctant to talk about his illness because they seemed to find breast cancer in a man an embarrassing topic. Tom H had high praise for the local cancer centre.