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Press Release- Men get breast cancer too!

Three hundred and fifty* men a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and 80* men die of the disease. However, a new survey published by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, and carried out by YouGov, shows that while 82% of British men are aware they can get breast cancer, 54% of men have never checked their breasts for symptoms of the disease.

Three hundred and fifty* men a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and 80* men die of the disease. However, a new survey published by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, and carried out by YouGov, shows that while 82% of British men are aware they can get breast cancer, 54% of men have never checked their breasts for symptoms of the disease.

According to the YouGov survey, only 68% of British men know that a lump in the breast/chest area could be a symptom of breast cancer, compared to 91% of women. Just 31% of men know that an inverted nipple could be a sign of breast cancer, while 39% are aware that discharge from the nipple is a cause for concern. The awareness figures for women are more than double, at 75% and 79% respectively.

To raise awareness and encourage men to check themselves regularly, six men (pictured) who have had breast cancer are being brought together in London on Tuesday 3rd October by Walk the Walk. It is believed to be the largest group of men who have had breast cancer, to have gathered in the UK. Some of the men have never met another male breast cancer patient before and will be sharing their incredible stories for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Walk the Walk are the organisers of The MoonWalk London, where both men and women walk marathons at Midnight wearing brightly decorated bras. Walk the Walk has raised £121 million** over the last 21 years, which is granted to help fund research into breast cancer in men and women and to help improve the lives of all those with cancer now.

Research funded by Walk the Walk has included Breast Cancer Now’s Male Breast Cancer Study, the largest of its kind into the causes of breast cancer in men. Walk the Walk is also one of the major funders of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank – researchers have been able to study samples of male breast tumours from the Tissue Bank. Walk the Walk has granted a total of more than £30 million over the last 20 years to Breast Cancer Now for a variety of research projects. With men currently treated for breast cancer in the same way as women, all breast cancer research funded by Walk the Walk has the potential to benefit men as well as women.  

One of the six men meeting in London on 3rd October is 48 year-old Bryan Thorn from Port Talbot,  who was diagnosed with breast cancer three and a half years ago, at the age of 44. Following his diagnosis, Bryan took part in The MoonWalk London earlier this year to raise awareness. 

Bryan said: “I noticed a lump when I was showering. I wasn’t checking my breast area, in fact, like many people, I didn’t even know men were supposed to check their breast area. Saying that, I wasn’t naive enough to think men couldn’t get breast cancer, but it wasn’t something you heard about.  I would encourage all men to check themselves regularly and if they have any concern at all, they should go to see their GP. People shouldn’t be afraid to visit their GP – there is no such thing as a wasted appointment, it could potentially save their life.”

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “During the past 21 years Walk the Walk has been tireless in its passion for not only raising awareness, but its commitment to raising funds towards finding a cure for breast cancer. The MoonWalk, the original night time challenge, has made a significant impact in helping to raise awareness of the disease, as hundreds of thousands of women and men have united together in their challenge of power walking a marathon in decorated bras! 

The survey Walk the Walk commissioned from YouGov highlighted that while only 8% of British women never check their breasts, for men it is over 50% so whilst incidents of male breast cancer are much less than women, the cancer has often spread undetected, resulting in a much higher number of fatalities.  Clearly there is still a huge amount of work to be done, and why it is so important that this brave group of men are sharing their experiences to help save the lives of others.”

*Source: Breast Cancer Now, September 2017

**Source: Walk the Walk, September 2017

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Notes to editors:

Survey

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2028 adults , of which 926 were men. Field work was undertaken between 21st and 22nd September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+) 

Walk the Walk 

  • Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive, set up and now runs Walk the Walk Worldwide.  
  • Walk the Walk specialises in fitness and Power Walking challenges.
  • HRH The Prince of Wales is the official Patron of Walk the Walk.
  • As a grant-making charity, all funds are raised for Walk the Walk and then granted to where the charity feels they will do the most good.  
  • Walk the Walk funds are granted to projects that not only support research, important to all our future health, but also support a variety of projects that are supporting cancer patients now throughout the UK. 
  • To date grants have been made to charities and organisations throughout the UK including Breast Cancer Now, The Breast Cancer Haven, Penny Brohn UK and hundreds of NHS Hospitals and Trusts for which we supply Scalp Cooling Systems. 
  • Breast Cancer Now’s Male Breast Cancer Study takes place at The Institute of Cancer Research, London 
  • The charity also has a community grant fund which each year grants to smaller organisations. Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, The Christie, Cancer Kin, FACT and others, all receive funds which enable them to continue their work. 
  • ‘The MoonWalk’ is the flagship event of the charity currently held in London, Scotland and Iceland.