Six men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer gathered today to launch a national awareness campaign, ahead of International Men’s Day (19th Nov), which celebrates the positive value men bring to the world and raises awareness of men’s well-being.
Glenn Cooper, 65, from Hampshire, David Aggett, 49, from Somerset, Dave Talbot, 62, from Bristol, Richard Galloway, 62, from Merseyside, Mike Greenhalgh, 63, from Northamptonshire and Giles Cooper, 58, from Gloucestershire are just six of the men affected by breast cancer who are making a huge difference, by raising awareness of a subject which still presents many stigmas.
The inspirational men are encouraging companies, public services, community organisations and individuals nationwide to download a special “Check your Chest” poster created by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
The poster highlights the importance of men checking themselves for symptoms of breast cancer, leading to prevention and early detection. Every year, 370* men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and 81* men die of the disease.
Some of the men gathering at The Marriott Hotel in London had never previously met another man diagnosed with breast cancer. Four additional men are also supporting and raising awareness in other areas including Wales and Ireland.
Glenn Cooper, 65 from Fareham, Hampshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and had never met another man affected by the disease until today. He said: “I’m used to chatting to lots of ladies who have had breast cancer about the effect it has had on them. However, coming here, meeting these other guys who have been through the same thing, chatting about the different ways our breast cancer was caught and our different regimes, has been interesting and helpful. In terms of awareness, I always say that men and women should check each other, don’t be embarrassed about it. We all have breast tissue.”
Walk the Walk also wants people to share the digital poster on company intranets, websites, as well as sharing it across social media channels.
Nina Barough, Founder and Executive of Walk the Walksaid: “It is such a privilege for Walk the Walk to be working with these incredibly brave men, who are prepared to share the emotional and very different ways that breast cancer has affected their lives. Their courage is born from their passion to help raise awareness and to encourage other men to be more aware of just how important it is to check their chest. Although less men than women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the mortality rate for primary breast cancer in men is high in comparison, due to lack of awareness and late detection. Walk the Walk are asking all men to join the Men Get Breast Cancer Too! campaign. All you need to do is download the poster, put it where you feel it will do the most good, and send us a photo! Chest checking is quick and easy – we want all men to do it. Visit walk thewalk.org, download the poster and spread the word!”
Professor Stephen Johnston, Consultant Medical Oncologist and a Trustee of Walk the Walk said: “Similar to breast cancer diagnosis in women, if detected early it is a very treatable and curable disease in men. Although rare it is important to spread the word that men can get breast cancer too, and should “Check their Chest”. I think it is inspiring that these male breast cancer patients are uniting together with the Walk the Walk charity to make men more aware.”
Walk the Walk are the organisers of The MoonWalk London, the iconic night-time fundraising event, when women and men wearing brightly decorated bras walk a half or full marathon at Midnight. The charity has been working with the group of men for over 2 years, raising awareness in many ways. This includes the design of a special blue and pink bra t-shirt for all the men who take part in Walk the Walk events.