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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Resources for Male Breast Cancer Patients

By Rod Ritchie

A guy is generally blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis, whether it be early stage or Stage IV. After the initial shock of hearing the word, “sorry to say, you have breast cancer,” I discovered from a wide internet search that most information about the disease was very clearly aimed at women. No surprise here, since we make up less than one percent of new cases. Once I was told the type and stage of cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage IIIB, I felt an urgency to learn all I could about treatment and even its prognosis. I ended up on many useful support forums and asked as many questions as possible. At appointments with healthcare professionals, I was sure to take my partner as a both record keeper and a person to ask those questions a patient in shock obviously won’t ask.

Social Media

After treatment commenced, and the questions mounted up, I found a good place to find further information was with one of the major breast cancer communities,, which had hundreds of threads and over 100,000 members. Unfortunately, very few men posted here, but over the years there has been a storehouse of posts, and these answered many of my questions.

There are also male breast cancer Facebook support pages, some private, some public. Man Up to Cancer is a general page for all male cancers, but with a male breast cancer cohort. The Male Breast Cancer Global Alliance has a public Facebook page. Both are ready to help newly diagnosed guys with any questions they might have.

I am also part of Surviving Breast Cancer’s Private FB group which is open to those diagnosed (men and women) as well as caregivers. I also just started a private group specifically for males with breast cancer via SBC’s private groups which you can access both on their website as well as through the SBC app.

Another Facebook support page recommended to me was Beyond The Pink Moon, a very large community of women and men who have been helping each other for 12 years now. While I didn't find many men here at first, that’s not the case nowadays. Obviously, due to the stigma affecting guys with this disease, they are shy about posting on a predominantly female forum.

Genetic Testing

A genetic test is recommended for all men with breast cancer. In my case, since my mother passed away, aged 40, from the disease, it could have been expected that I inherited the disease. It turned out that I had a variation of unknown significance of the BRCA1 gene. This is an ambivalent result of no clinical significance.


Most of the information about treating male breast cancer comes from doctors’ experience with treating female breast cancer. The main treatment for breast cancer in men is surgery to remove the tumor. This is usually a mastectomy because of the small size of a male breast. Chemotherapy is the post-common adjuvant treatment after surgery and your oncologist will work out a regimen that best suits your type and stage. Radiation can also be used as adjuvant therapy. Male breast reconstruction is almost always performed as a “delayed” procedure, after completion of all other breast cancer treatments.

You may be lucky enough to be assigned to a breast care nurse at your hospital. Whilst, these expert nurses are more commonly dealing with women, I found they really were a great source of information and support for guys as well. Finally, the hormone-blocking drug, Tamoxifen, is prescribed for at least five years.

Men generally have a poorer prognosis because of their reluctance to see a doctor in a timely fashion. And when they do present, their health practitioners are often not thinking of breast cancer as a possible diagnosis. There is also no screening program for men, even for those with a genetic predisposition to the disease. And mainstream breast cancer charities are not pushing hard enough the message that men can get this disease too.

Don’t fall into this cohort, know your risk, check yourself, and present to your primary care provider in a timely fashion.


Rod Ritchie is a Sydney-born writer, internet publisher, and breast cancer patient activist, living with breast and prostate cancers. Currently, he’s NED for both. He’s President, Board of Directors, Male Breast Cancer Global Alliance, has a website at and you can follow him on Twitter @malefitness

His articles for Health Union can be found here:


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Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month


Brain Spotting

May 27,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

May 28,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

June 3, 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

Jun 4,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

June 10,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

June 11, 11:30 a.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

June 11,  6:00 p.m. ET


Restorative Yoga:

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June 17 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


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Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


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