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SecondaryBreast Cancer in men

GlennC
Posted by
In Feb 2018 I became one of the relatively few men to contact Breast Cancer. I had a Mastectomy, 6 courses of FEC and then onto Tamoxafen.
Now 2 years later I have become 1 of the even fewer men to be diagnosed with Secondaty Breast Cancer of the bone.
I somehow sailed through the the Primary cancer BUT having Secondary appears a very different beasty which will (most probably ) shorten my life expectancy somewhat.
Where do I find about the do's/do nots regarding
Food
Exercise
Travel
etc.
Thanks
Glenn
GlennC
Kayleigh-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi GlennC,

Thank you for getting in touch with us and welcome to the Online Community. I see you’re also a member of the Breast, secondary cancer group too. There’s nothing quite like getting the support from others who are going through a similar situation as yourself. Some people find comfort in online support groups, I hope you find it helpful.

It certainly sounds like you’ve been through a lot since your initial diagnosis with breast cancer. Please be reassured, there is no right or wrong way to feel right now. There’s also no right or wrong way to cope or process your diagnosis with secondary breast cancer. It is a very different “beasty” and that will bring on different emotions from when you were first diagnosed. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s important to look after yourself too. We don’t want you to burn out.

I’m glad you reached out to us, please know you can also call us on the support line for a chat or emotional support too. We are here 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. As well as providing information, we also provide a listening ear. Some people find it easier speaking to a stranger over the phone.

In terms of the “do’s and don’ts” with food, exercise and travel would really depend on whether you were on treatment that might compromise the immune system, and of course with how you’re feeling within yourself. Your hospital team or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) will be able to be more specific with you about the “do’s and don’ts” and what this means for you as an individual.

We usually advocate a healthy balanced diet, which again is easier said than done sometimes. We have our recipe book for people affected by cancer, this might be helpful to look at if you’re looking for ideas on healthy, easy to make meals. We also have information on preventing weight loss too which might be helpful.

Secondary bone cancer can make the bones more fragile and at risk of fractures. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Exercise has so many benefits for physical and mental wellbeing, it can also help with fatigue too. Again, speak with your hospital team so you know what precautions to take and how to exercise safely. Depending on which bones are affected, certain exercises might not be advised, it’s always good to check these things. Breast Cancer Now have information on getting active with secondary breast cancer.

As you will know, these last few months have left us all with some uncertainty and worry due to the coronavirus. It is reassuring in a sense that lockdown is starting to ease off and things are slowly getting back to how they used to be. Travel, be it through public transport or going abroad is still a concern for many people, especially those on cancer treatments.

Tamoxifen as a hormone therapy doesn’t compromise the immune system. Speaking with your hospital team about your individual risks when travelling and the precautions to take is the best thing to do.

Remember Glenn, if you ever need to chat things through or need a listening ear, please do get in touch.

Best wishes and take care,

Kayleigh-Cancer Information Nurse Specialist