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The cancer you didn’t know men could get


Friday 20 October is Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day. It is still a common misconception that breast cancer is only a woman’s disease when, in fact, it is predicted that 217 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The risk for a man to be diagnosed with breast cancer over a lifetime is 1 in 542.  

After an initial early breast cancer diagnosis in 2018, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) member Paul was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer a few years later.  

“I often get a surprised reaction when I tell people I have breast cancer,” Paul said. “For me, I just have cancer. 

“If you solely use the word ‘women’ to describe breast cancer, you’re mostly correct. But you’re still incorrect,” Paul said.  

Paul has just returned from a holiday with his young family and is determined to keep passion at the centre of his life.  “I’d like other men to be comfortable to share their diagnosis and seek out any support they need,” he said.  

You can read more about Paul’s story in our latest edition of BCNA’s member magazine The Beacon

BCNA’s network includes many men who have been generous in sharing their stories to help raise awareness of breast cancer in males.  You can read more incredible personal stories shared by our members, including Phil who was diagnosed in 2020 and had no idea men could get breast cancer. Also, the late Harry Brooks who was a passionate advocate for men diagnosed with breast cancer.  

BCNA’s theme for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is “Living Well, Your Way”.  With 20,458  women and 217 men expected to receive a diagnosis in 2023, raising awareness around the different support and resources available to help people live well with or beyond breast cancer is essential.

Those affected by breast cancer are likely to require different types of support at different times, however BCNA offer trusted information and a variety of resources – from a free Helpline (call 1800 500 258), podcasts/webcasts, My Journey, Service Finder, and an Online Network to connect with others – which can all be accessed when and where they are needed via BCNA’s newly refreshed website at

BCNA have many resources for men diagnosed with breast cancer. These include: 

·         Breast cancer in men information page 

·         Men get breast cancer too booklet 

·         Men and breast cancer – treatment, managing side effects and finding support video 

·         Understanding breast cancer: men get breast cancer too podcast 

·         In conversation with Harry and Pieter podcast 

·         Online Network – men living with breast cancer group 

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