Men diagnosed with breast cancer



  • BlackWidow
    BlackWidow Member Posts: 268
    @traveltext.  Can you please tell me if you have had a favourable response from BCNA re the inclusion of blue ?
    If not, I am sure many of us will boycott BCNA activities to make them listen, stand up and take action.  Yes, BCNA was for women but we have all had men in our lives (fathers !), husbands, partners, brothers and/or sons.
    We have all supported BCNA, some financially, so they do need to get with the modern times.
    I did not know Rob but felt the same when I saw the photo.
  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253
    Thanks @BlackWidow. Haven’t had a response yet, but I’ll let everyone here know when I do. 

  • SoldierCrab
    SoldierCrab Member Posts: 3,449
    edited July 2021
    So Traveltext did you get this email  attached below
    Help BCNA fill the virtual Pink Lady on the 'G

    You're invited to stand with me at the 'G virtually
    In Round 18 this July, BCNA partner Melbourne Football Club will  PLAY4BCNA in the 2021 AFL Pink Lady Match versus Hawthorn at the MCG. Last year's Pink Lady Match was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown.  Although COVID-19 is still impacting the 2021 season fixture and limiting attendance numbers, we are thrilled to announce that you can still get involved!
    This year we are aiming to fill the virtual Pink Lady on the 'G by 6pm on Sunday July 18 and you can take part!
    Buy your place today and help BCNA form the virtual Pink Lady on the MCG. Leave a message of support online and share your participation with family and friends. You'll be helping BCNA raise vital funds to continue to provide our free information and support when and where it's needed most. 
    *Buying places in the virtual Pink Lady is a donation to BCNA and 100% tax deductible.

    Whilst we cannot physically stand together to form our Pink Lady on the 'G - regardless of where your live or who you support, this year buying a virtual place on the 'G in support of BCNA is even more vital. 

    COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people affected by breast cancer with treatment, diagnoses and reconstructive surgeries delayed.  The ongoing impact of these delays means BCNA's work is more important than ever to help ensure all Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support.  Taking your place in our virtual Pink Lady is helping more than 20,000 Australians that will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone.  


    Once you have bought your place in the Pink Lady remember to share with your friends and family on social media inviting them to join with you. After your donation and message are completed you can download an image or share directly on social media and use the hashtags - #PinkLadyMatch #StandWithMeAtTheG #BCNAPinkLady

    We cannot wait to see all the messages of support and our Pink Lady filling up as we all stand together virtually this year!

    Best wishes,

    Kirsten Pilatti



    This email was sent to: soldiercrab :) ( altered for privacy) 

    This email was sent by: Breast Cancer Network Australia
    293 Camberwell Rd Camberwell, Victoria 3124 Australia

    We respect your right to privacy - view our policy


    Please note: If you choose to unsubscribe you will no longer receive any email contact from BCNA.

    I am really getting quite pissed off about the lack of inclusion for men's cancer.. 
    Come on Kirsten Pilatti 
    I expect more from you.
    A younger generation to me and yet non inclusive of MEN with BC

    When is change going to happen ? 
    extremely disappointed at the lack of inclusion. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THIS 

    Both MEN and WOMEN die from Breast Cancer lets include Men in all our logo and campaigns... 

  • SoldierCrab
    SoldierCrab Member Posts: 3,449
    @Kirsten_BCNA hoping this is KP as I know her .... 

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253
    Go for it SC! Yes, I have heard from BCNA just recently:

    Hi Rod
    Thanks so much for your email and the attached manifesto. I’m sorry it has taken a few days to respond.

     Your email has been passed onto Vicki Durston, Director of Policy and Advocacy at BCNA. If it’s ok, Vicki will give you a call in the coming days to discuss further.

    Thanks again, Rod. Please let us know if there’s anything else in the meantime. Such a lovely photo you’ve included below with Rob and Christine.

    Yours sincerely


  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,897
    How hard would it be to offer blue seats in with this promo @Kirsten_BCNA.
    Hoping @traveltext gets a fast favourable answer from Vicki Durston !
    Thanks @SoldierCrab for again highlighting the lack of consideration for the 'blues'.
    Come on ladies, please support this thread with your input.
  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253
    Thanks June, I’ve suggested they offer blue seats. 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,897
    Great minds think alike !  Hopefully they will come on board with the reality of it all.
    If my brother was alive I'd want him to be made aware of the possibility of BC.
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,561
    I agree! I’d love to see blue men available too. Then I might consider supporting this and buying a pink lady or blue man. 
  • Kirsten_BCNA
    Kirsten_BCNA Staff Posts: 57

    Hi everyone

    I want to thank our members who provide valuable feedback
    about our organisation, it helps us strive to become better at what we do and
    that is to support you. The Pink Lady has been our logo for 23 years, it is
    synonymous with BCNA. I acknowledge that some feel this imagery is no longer an
    accurate representation of our network and would like it changed to be more
    inclusive of all genders, I don’t disagree. Rebranding an organisation is
    complex and costly and whilst it can be worthwhile it would require a diversion
    of funds from our services. What we look like is important, what we deliver is
    even more so and I along with our executive team have made a conscious decision
    at this time to make this a priority.

    Our programs and resources have evolved and are frequently
    reviewed and adapted to ensure they remain relevant and reflect our community’s
    growing gender and cultural diversity. Our Policy and Advocacy team develop
    programs with critical input from key advisory and consumer groups to meet
    demand and align with community expectations. For more than two decades the
    network has embraced and supported men with breast cancer and includes them
    across public campaigns to raise greater awareness and give them a voice. Our
    iconic Field of Women events always include ‘blue men’, resources specific to
    male breast cancer are available and in August 2021 BCNA will host its first
    Blokes and Breast Cancer – digital forum. Male breast cancer survivors have
    been part of Pink Bun campaigns and the BCNA podcast series Upfront, Male
    Breast Cancer Day in October is given high priority and our organisation makes
    every effort to create a platform for those willing to share their story. We
    are grateful to the men diagnosed with breast cancer who work with BCNA to help
    others, we wish there were more men that felt comfortable to do so.  

     The Pink Lady Match, Melbourne V Hawthorn, on Saturday 17th
    July at the MCG is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our amazing network and
    become visible to those who have been diagnosed. Whilst we can’t gather on the
    field in ponchos as in previous years we can still unite and stand virtually to
    fill the Pink Lady.  As people buy their places you will see animated
    pink, blue, white and yellow figures come onto the field, what you will feel is
    support and that is what BCNA stands for. I hope you will stand with me because
    we are stronger when we stand together.


  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253
    Thanks @Kirsten_BCNA I look forward to BCNA moving forward on male breast cancer this year. There really are many issues besides adding a bit of blue on your logo that need media exposure and I’m willing to help. 

    Here’s a just released podcast which explains my experience as well as the issues men face.

  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,897
    Thank you @Kirsten_BCNA.  I hope the above is not 'just words' and that you will work with @traveltext and others to highlight this often unknown or hidden issue.
    With regards to publications, it is very easy to just make a simple colour change at the next print run ..... it does not have to take any additional funding and really does not have to happen all at once.  A gradual change will be enough to get people thinking.
    Perhaps highlight the blue at Pink Lady events to begin getting the message out .....
  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253
    My friend wrote BCNA this email:

    Thanks for all the amazing work you all do,

    We had breast cancer impact our family and have only just come through a second round, where it returned 18 months after a double mastectomy for our daughter. She was told she’d be safe after removal of all her breast tissue but unfortunately the margin around the cancer cells wasn’t large enough and it spread by surgery. 
    This second time it had to be chemotherapy combined with radiation at the very same time, followed by timely surgery before the radiated skin lost its ability to heal. 
    She just scraped through there, as an ulcer formed which oozed for months and looked like never healing. Infection was the risk and her husband dressed the wound with great loving care. 

    With such a great team on the Sunshine Coast Qld. we have all arrived to what appears to be an all clear. 

    Throughout this journey the most helpful person to me (as a major support) in this unknown landscape, seeing that first surgery was performed in Melbourne, was a man, who also went through the same treatments by virtually this same medical team. 

    I’m writing now to request a very simple way of promoting this gender cross over of breast cancer, so that awareness amongst GPs is increased and the public can be informed that male breast tissue, especially given a family history, can also be cancerous and show early deadly symptoms. 
    Men will then know not just to check their testicles for lumps but to also suspect lumps on their breasts as a risk. 

    The GP involved with this male survivor dismissed his lump for months and only on his insistence, was a referral given for an ultrasound. 
    If he was female, it would have been caught months earlier and maybe the spread to lymph nodes, in this male’s case, could have been prevented. 

    Could you please let me know what you could do to encompass in your messaging the fact that males are also impacted? 
    I would like to thank this male supporter who gave us the confidence to handle these necessary gruelling treatments on the Sunshine Coast. I’m hoping for a small change, to acknowledge males also suffer this terrible disease. 

    What visible change to the messaging promoted by yourselves could you make?
    I believe the idea of a blue dot on your pink ribbon, suggested a few years ago, would create a much needed conversation and acknowledge this gender cross over. 

    In today’s world where gender is fluid and titles defining gender are being questioned, it would be sensible and seen as a step forward, if your body incorporated males in this visible way. 

    The pink lady is your symbol and that’s fair enough but the blue dot on a pink ribbon would be a great way to educate both medical professionals on the front line and the public, as well as the important men in our lives. 

    Please advise what steps can be taken to see this small but important step forward. 

    With great appreciation,

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 253

    And she received this thoughtful reply from Merideth @BCNA

    Good afternoon Barbara,

    Thank you for contacting Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and for your kind feedback.

    I am really sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis of breast cancer - especially for the second time. This must have been a very distressing time for her, as well as for her husband and for you and your family.  It sounds like she received good support from her treatment team on the Sunshine Coast and I hope that she has ongoing support from her medical team and those around her.  If you think we can be of further help, Barbara, please don’t hesitate to call us on 1800 500 258 - or encourage your daughter to contact us if she feels the need.

    Your daughter may have already accessed our My Journey digital resource which  is accessible online or as a downloadable app. It provides high quality, evidence-based information and insights from others diagnosed with breast cancer and is easy to access via a computer, tablet or smartphone.  The following link will take you to more information.        My Journey 

    My Journey was developed with assistance from breast cancer specialists and offers:

    *Information and support tailored to her specific needs at all stages of her breast cancer journey including survivorship;
    *Immediate updates as new insights, research and clinical trials become available;
    *Videos, webcasts and podcasts;

    Thank you also for raising the issue of gender diversity in relation to a breast cancer diagnosis.  Breast Cancer in men has been an area of focus for BCNA for a number of years and the following link will take you to the section on our website which provides information and links to other organisations and resources specifically for men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.        Breast Cancer in Men.

    It is very heartening to read that it was a man, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and who was the most helpful person to you in your support of your daughter, Barbara. He would have a very deep understanding of a breast cancer diagnosis and associated treatment and I think it is courageous of him to come forward to help you when your need was so great. I hope he is having a good response to his treatment as well. We are  here for him too if he ever feels the need to reach out to us.  I imagine he would have a lot of good advice and information for not only BCNA, but for other men in his situation.

    Regarding highlighting the fact that men get breast cancer too, BCNA has incorporated a number of strategies including adding the colour blue to our resources and 'branding' to bring attention to this fact.  Although the Pink Lady is the recognised symbol of BCNA, we do include blue silhouettes at our events including our Minifield of Women tribute events and the Field of Women Live events which have been held at the MCG over the years. 

    Your suggestion of including a blue dot or similar in our symbol to recognise men is a thoughtful one and I have referred your email on to management for further consideration and response.

    Thank you for taking the time to raise this important issue with us, Barbara.  I hope your daughter is responding well to treatment and that you are all keeping safe and well throughout this difficult time of COVID pandemic. 

    If you have any questions, or if we can help further, please don’t hesitate to contact us again, or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258.

    With best wishes,

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,801
    edited July 2021
    I can fully relate to Barbara's story of the GPs response to that guy's lump ....

    I've just learned that the husband of one of my uke players also went to his GP with a lump. The GP aspirated it and told him there was nothing to worry about. No biopsy was done and I do not believe other diagnostic treatments were done either, ie Ultrasound.  He died from it 2 years later.

    It would appear that some GPs are as ignorant of BC in men, as many of the men are.  THIS needs to be addressed!!

    Couldn't a Blue Man be superimposed inside the Pink Lady ..... to show that both sexes are affected by BC ....