The youngest man to have ever undergone a double mastectomy speaks about how breast cancer have killed both his father and uncle. Giles Cooper, 56, went under the knife after finding a lump in his breast. He was diagnosed with the deadly disease and decided to get rid of both his breasts to avoid what happened to his male family members.
Both his father and uncle died at the age of 77. Giles made the decision not to be a victim of the lethal condition and, at 56, became the youngest man to get the double breast removal surgery. In the UK, just 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, compared to around 55,000 women.
Giles lives with wife Nicola, age 51, and is still reeling at the loss of his 77-year-old dad Stephen to breast cancer in 2004. Three years later, his uncle Christopher, also 77 that time, died from the same disease. Giles had regular check-ups after their deaths because medics warned he is also likely to develop the disease.
Later, in August 2014, Giles found a small lump in his breast which doctors later diagnosed was grade 2 invasive cancer. Three months later, he underwent a double mastectomy operation. As is common in the procedure, he lost his nipples, and had a sizeable scar that runs from one side to the other, the Mirror online reports.
He underwent radiotherapy right after the surgery, and took Tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen drug known to reduce the chances of the cancer returning. “I decided to have the double mastectomy because I didn’t want to be facing the same problem in five or ten years time," he says. He also adds that the anesthetist in the operation told him that in all his 20 years of service, he was the first man he put to sleep for that kind of procedure.
According to the Rare Dr, just because men don't have enlarged breasts doesn't mean they can't have the cancer. For male, symptoms include a lump felt in the breast, nipple pain, an inverted nipple, nipple discharge (clear or bloody), sores on the nipple and areola (the small ring of color around the center of the nipple) or an enlarged lymph node under the arm. Unfortunately, the prognosis is significantly worse for men with breast cancer than it is for women.