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DMU research informs new resources that raise awareness of male breast cancer


A national charity is hoping to shine a light on male breast cancer after launching a new informative resource underpinned by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) research.

To coincide with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021, Against Breast Cancer (ABC) has created a new leaflet aimed specifically at raising awareness of breast cancer in men.

ABC worked closely with Dr Kerry Quincey, an active researcher from the Institute of Psychological Sciences at DMU, who became the charity’s first collaborative psychologist last year. Her work looks at how the lived experience of male breast cancer not only affects the individual themselves in many ways, but reaches those close to them too.

Kerry Quincey
Dr Kerry Quincey

Designed with men in mind, with male-specific statistics and information, the charity wanted to provide a resource which raises awareness that men do have breast tissue and can develop breast cancer. Importantly, the leaflet also includes links to male-specific support groups for anyone needing advice or help, before, during or after a breast cancer diagnosis. 

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A spokesperson for ABC said: “Some of the aspects we wanted to address centred around breast cancer information being primarily aimed at women, the colour often being pink and the statistical information describing cases in women. This may contribute towards men feeling that the information is not relevant to them, is not something they would want to read, or sadly even reinforcing ideas that they have a “women’s disease”, making them feel even more alone during a difficult time.”

ABC also consulted with Doug Harper and David McCallion who have both had breast cancer and were keen to share their insights and experiences.

Doug Harper 1
Doug Harper

Doug, who works alongside Dr Quincey for other aspects of her research into the psycho-emotional/psycho-social impact that breast cancer has on male patients, added: “There is not enough awareness of breast cancer in men. Leaflets like this one by ABC are a great help.”

There are approximately 400 new cases of breast cancer in UK men presenting each year and the disease is responsible for proportionally more male deaths annually than some men’s cancers, including penile and testicular forms – 22% of men diagnosed with breast cancer die, compared to around 21% of those with penile and 2.5% of those with testicular.  

Dr Quincey said: “With there being so few male-only resources available for men, we hope this will help raise more awareness of the disease in men and subsequently improve men’s lives and illness outcomes.”

Printed copies of the leaflet will be available to order for GP practices/clinics, while a digital copy is available to view and download online.

Posted on Wednesday 20th October 2021

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