Stuart had no idea men could have breast cancer until he was diagnosed. He tells us why it's important for him to share his experience and raise awareness of breast cancer in men.

I didn't know men could get breast cancer

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer June 2005.

I felt a lump on my chest but didn't think anything of it. When my wife noticed she told me to go to the doctor to get it checked.

Everything snowballed after that. I didn’t even know men could get breast cancer until I was diagnosed.

So many different things go through your head when you hear the word 'cancer'. You start to worry about your family and what they would do if you weren't there.

 It feels like your world is falling apart.

 

I had to come to terms with it

It took me a few days to come to terms with it all.

I read up about breast cancer in men and spoke to the oncologists and nurses. It really helped put my mind at ease by hearing about other men who had been diagnosed.

Once I accepted my diagnosis, I wanted to get my treatment underway.

I had a left side mastectomy with axillary node clearance. This was followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and Herceptin.

In 2012, I had to have another operation to remove my sternum. The doctors told me this was a second primary diagnosis.

 

Breast Cancer Care's information was invaluable

I've had so much support throughout my breast cancer treatment. My family and friends have been brilliant.

The breast care nurses were great and gave me loads of information, including a Breast Cancer Care booklet.

It was the first thing I saw in print about breast cancer for men and that related to me.

Through this I found the Breast Cancer Care website, which I've used a lot over the years. They've been such an invaluable resource for me.

 I wanted to give something back to Breast Cancer Care and a few years ago I trekked Ben Nevis with my dad to raise money for the charity.

I've also been a model in their fashion show twice.  I initially had doubts before I did the first one, but it was such an amazing experience that I couldn't wait to do it again.

 

Treatable, but not curable

Last year, I was told that the cancer had spread to my lung and that I had secondary breast cancer.

It hit me quite hard. It's been difficult coming to terms with my diagnosis being treatable, but not curable.

It's going well so far. I'm having treatment every three weeks, and it feels positive. Everything is moving in the right direction. 

 

People are shocked I have breast cancer

People have been really shocked when I tell them my diagnosis.

They usually respond saying, 'men don't get breast cancer!'.

I always share my experience with them. It's important to spread information about male breast cancer so that men can check themselves and know what the symptoms are.

 

I wanted to share my story

I can't believe I've won the Force India competition. It's amazing!

I entered the competition as I'm a huge Formula 1 fan. I also saw it as an opportunity to share my story and spread awareness of male breast cancer.

I still don't think there is enough awareness about breast cancer in men. That's why I'm delighted to be able to share my story through Force India's partnership with Breast Cancer Care.

Having my name on the Force India car at the British Grand Prix will be such a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the fact men can get breast cancer too.

My family and I always watch the Grand Prix on TV but have never been lucky enough to go to the event.

I'm excited to meet the team and to see my name on the car. I can't wait.

 

Stuart and Checo