Published on Monday 12 June 2017
A grandfather who was treated for breast cancer at Wirral University Teaching Hospital is urging other men to get checked out and take action during Men’s Health Week (12th to 18th June).
Richard Galloway, 60, who lives in Heswall, first realised something wasn’t right in September 2015 when his nipple became sore and he noticed a lump underneath. Within a week he visited his GP and initially it was thought it was likely a cyst. About five weeks later it had not healed and he went to get it checked out again.
He said: “My doctor sent me to Clatterbridge Hospital to get it checked out. I went in and had a biopsy which came back positive in mid-December of 2015.
“Until you know what it is, you’re forever guessing. For the sake of a little discomfort you should see it through. I think my family were more worried than I was.”
On 5th January 2016 he underwent surgery at the Wirral Breast Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital to have the lump removed. Luckily it was in the early stages and the cancer had not spread.
Richard said: “My lump was small. It was first stages and hadn’t spread anywhere. Time is of the essence with cancer. The sooner you get it the better. People shouldn’t be complacent. I shouldn’t have left it five weeks to return to the doctor. It could have been a whole lot worse.
“I’ve never really thought about breast cancer. It’s surprising the amount of people that don’t know it can also happen to men. It’s one of those things people know can happen to women and most fundraisers are geared around that.”
The father-of-three, who also has two grandchildren, is now being checked by a consultant every six months. He is using Men’s Health Week to urge men to get checked out and to encourage them to pursue any medical concerns.
He said: “Breast cancer is not a common thing for men but men have a lot less in that area than women so it is noticeable when you find a lump.
“It is not just a matter of checking yourself. It is reacting appropriately when you find something and following through with it until you know what it is for sure.
“I’m not a fan of going to the doctor but there are certain things that you need to go for. Time is the important thing.”
Richard would also like to see more research on breast cancer involving men. Through the Wirral Breast Centre he has also volunteered to speak to other men who are diagnosed with breast cancer so he can share his experiences and raise awareness.
Richard said: “Research tends to focus on women. One of the things I’m going to do is link in with men who are diagnosed with it.”
Last month he also completed a 26-mile Moonwalk event in London while wearing a bra. This is a sponsored power walk undertaken in a bra, to raise funds for research into cancer.
He said: “I just really wanted to help and to raise awareness. Men and women do the event in their bras and it raises money for research into breast cancer.”
Jennie Mealor, Macmillan Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist, at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “Although breast cancer is more common in women, it can develop in men and it is important to raise awareness. I would like to thank Richard for sharing his own experience to help others. During Men’s Health Week I would encourage any men who have any concerns at all about their health to visit their GP.”