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Male breast cancer survivor raising awareness of the disease

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Brian Lynch noticed an odd change to his body after shoveling snow around Christmas in 2020.

“When I took my sweatshirt off, I noticed that my right nipple looked flat and inverted,” he said.

He began doing research, and a few months later as more symptoms began to present, fears that this could be cancer became more likely.

“I was showering for work one day in April and I felt a lump. The lump was fleshy, about the size of my baby finger pad, and movable.”

Lynch booked a doctor's appointment the following week.

“He (the doctor) felt the first one and [he] didn't seem that concerned, but certainly concerned for my health. And I said, ‘No, no, no, no, go to the other side and dig in.’ And he did. And his eyes just stared at me. It was a completely different look.”

A CT scan and mammogram confirmed the diagnosis, and Lynch opted for a mastectomy followed by a round of chemotherapy and is now cancer free. But he is working to raise awareness.

“This, having breast cancer, physically and emotionally was a very difficult thing for me. But I know this - that I had the best possible outcome,” said Lynch.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 260 males were expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023, compared to over 29,000 women.

However, the lack of data and awareness of men being diagnosed leads to a higher mortality rate.

“We will help raise money for the MRI fund and they will help us in the promotion of the Bottoni project. And what our goals are for, to bring awareness across Canada,” Lynch said.

The Bottoni Project is intended to help derail the shame, stigma, and the silence that prevents men from a healthy social and emotional recovery from male breast cancer.

Lynch, who is now in after care a the the London Health Sciences Centre cancer program, added that if men seek medical treatment as soon as they notice something odd, or any kind of lump, the treatment success rate is very high, but the longer it is put off, the more likely the cancer can spread.

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