My name is Scott Kelly I am 61 years old and in 2010 I was diagnosed with bi-lateral breast cancer and underwent a bilateral mastectomy.
My mother lost her life to breast cancer in 2013 after a long battle with the disease however I do not carry the BRCA mutation.
While breast cancer is uncommon in men, currently about 1 in 100 breast cancers are male, the mortality rate is higher in men, most probably because a lot of men are not aware that the disease can affect them too, unfortunately it often goes undetected for a longer period of time.
During my initial diagnosis and treatment I tried to stay positive around my family, which is easier said than done, I felt guilty for putting them through this stressful situation.
Because my breast cancer had been detected early my prognosis was good and I did not require Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy.
I was prescribed Tamoxifen and one of the risks of Tamoxifen is blood clots, after 5 years of taking the Tamoxifen I unfortunately developed a clot in the leg which went to my brain and caused a stroke. This affected my balance, co-ordination and left me with left side weakness, this threw a spanner in the works and I underwent rehab for 6 months and over time I made a pretty good recovery.
Of the six men that I know that have battled breast cancer three of those including myself were professional firefighters.
Recent research from Sweden has put forward that exposure to PFOA chemicals found in firefighting foam, cosmetics, upholstery and non-stick cookware, promotes proliferation, migration and invasion potential in human breast cells, PFOA is also suspected to be an endocrine disrupter which can cause thyroid dysfunction.
More research into what are the possible causes that trigger breast cancer to develop is essential.
Early detection and treatment are the best ways to fight breast cancer.
It’s important for both men and women who find a change in their breasts not to let embarrassment or uncertainty prevent them from seeing their doctor without delay.
My wife Deb is a registered Nurse who helped me to understand and deal with the issues involved in breast cancer treatment which helped ensure my best possible recovery.
I was lucky to have someone there to give me the support required to help me navigate through the darkness and uncertainty of my personal breast cancer journey.