Men 15 Cancer Symptoms to Know About

Men 15 Cancer Symptoms to Know About

Men 15 Cancer Symptoms: Experts say that Men may benefit greatly by being alert to particular cancer symptoms that take a visit to the physician’s office earlier rather than later.

Nevertheless, in regards to scheduling physician visits, guys are notorious foot-draggers. Actually, many Men would not visit the physician if it were not for the girls in their lifetime. Men frequently Have to be pushed by women to get screened for cancer.

That is unfortunate. Regular preventative care may detect cancer and other diseases in their early phases. When cancer is found early, there are far more choices for therapy. That means there will also be far better opportunities for a remedy.

Some cancer Symptoms in men are particular. They involve particular body parts and might point right to the prospect of cancer.

Other symptoms, however, are obscure. For example, pain which affects many body components may have many explanations. It may or might not be an indication of cancer. However, you can not rule out cancer without visiting a physician.

Let Discuss Men 15 Cancer Symptoms

1- Changes in the Skin:

You should be attentive to not merely changes in moles — a renowned indication of potential skin cancer but also changes in skin pigmentation.

The expert States that unexpectedly developing bleeding on the skin or excessive scaling are all grounds to check with your physician. It is hard to say just how long it’s too long to detect skin changes, but many experts say to wait more than a few weeks.

To Learn What is causing the skin varies, your physician should have a careful history and perform a careful physical examination. The health care provider may also order a biopsy to rule out cancer.

2-Infection:

As they age, most we frequently complain of growing aches and pains. However, pain, as obscure as it could be, may be an early symptom of several cancers. Most pain complaints, however, aren’t from cancer.

Any pain That endures, as stated by the American Cancer Society, ought to be checked out by your doctor. The health care provider should have a careful history, get additional information, and then determine whether further testing is essential.

When it is not cancer, then you will still gain from the trip to the workplace. That is because the physician can work with you to learn what’s causing the pain and also determine the correct therapy.

3-Breast Volume:

If you are like most guys, you have probably never considered the chance of having breast cancer. Even though it is not common, it’s possible. “Any new mass in the breast region of a person has to be checked from a doctor.

Additionally, The American Cancer Society describes other debilitating signals between the breast that guys in addition to girls ought to pay attention to. They comprise:

  • Skin Care Dimpling or puckering
  • Nipple retraction
  • Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast area
  • Nipple discharge

When you Seek advice from your doctor about any one of these symptoms, expect him to have a careful history and perform a physical examination. Then, based on the findings, the physician might order a mammogram, a biopsy, or other tests.

Additionally, Any swelling, lump, or sense of heaviness in the scrotum shouldn’t be ignored. Some pancreatic cancers happen very fast. So early detection is particularly crucial. “Should you feel a tough lump of coal [on your testicle], get it checked immediately.

Your Physician Should perform a testicular examination and a general evaluation of your wellbeing. When cancer is suspected, blood tests can be arranged.

You could also undergo an ultrasound examination of your scrotum, and your physician may choose to do a biopsy. A biopsy demands the elimination of the whole testicle.

4- Changes in the Lymph Nodes:

If you discover a bulge or swelling in the lymph nodes under your armpit or on your neck or anywhere else — it might be a cause of concern. If you’ve got a lymph node that has progressively bigger, and it has been more than a month, then visit a physician.

Your Physician Must examine you and determine some related problems that can describe the lymph node enlargement, for example, disease. When there is absolutely no infection, a physician will typically dictate a biopsy.

5- Fever:

If you have got an unexplained fever, then it might indicate cancer. Fever, however, may also be an indication of pneumonia or some other illness or disease that needs treatment.

Most cancers Will lead to fever sooner or later. Many times, fever happens after cancer has spread from the original website and invaded another area of the body. Fever may also be brought on by blood cancers like lymphoma or leukemia, according to the American Cancer Society.

It is best Not to dismiss a fever that cannot be clarified. Check with your physician to learn what may be causing the illness and also to ascertain its appropriate therapy.

6- Weight Loss Without Attempting:

Sudden weight loss is an issue,  “Many people do not eliminate weight easily.” He is talking about more than merely a couple of pounds from a pop-up exercise regime or into eating less due to a hectic schedule.

If a person loses over 10 percent of the body weight at a period of time of 3 to 6 weeks, it is time to find the physician.

Your Physician Ought to do a general physical examination, ask you questions regarding your diet and workout, and ask about other signs. Depending on that advice, the health care provider will determine what other tests are necessary.

7- Gnawing Abdominal Anxiety and melancholy:

“Any man (or girl ) who has got a pain in the gut and is feeling miserable needs a checkup. Experts have discovered a connection between depression and pancreatic cancer.

Other symptoms of esophageal cancer may include jaundice, a change in stool color — frequently grey — a darkening of the urine. Itching through the entire body may also happen.

Anticipate your Physician to perform a careful physical examination and have a history. The health care provider should order tests such as an ultrasound, a CT scan or possibly, in addition to other lab evaluations.

8- Indigestion:

Many men, particularly as they get old, believe”heart attack” if they get bad indigestion. But persistent indigestion can indicate to cancer of the stomach, throat, or stomach. Persistent or worsening indigestion ought to be reported to a physician.

Your Physician Should have a careful history and ask questions regarding the stomach episodes. Depending on the history along with your replies to the queries, the Physician will determine What evaluations are necessary.

9- Fatigue:

Fatigue is another obscure symptom which may point to cancer in men. However, many other issues could lead to exhaustion also. Like Stress, fatigue may set in after cancer has increased. However, according to the American Cancer Society, it might also occur early in cancers like colon cancer, or prostate cancer.

If you frequently Feel extremely exhausted and you do not get better with rest, check with your physician. The health care provider should assess the fatigue together with some other symptoms so as to ascertain its origin and the correct therapy.

10- Changes in the Testicles:

Testicular cancer occurs most commonly in males aged 20 to 39. The American Cancer Society recommends that men receive a testicular examination by a physician as part of a regular cancer-related checkup. Some physicians also indicate a monthly self-exam.

11- A Continuous Cough:

Coughs are anticipated, of course, with colds, the flu, and allergies. They are also sometimes a negative effect of a drug.

However, an extremely prolonged cough — characterized as lasting more than four or three months — or an alteration in a cough shouldn’t be dismissed. Individuals cough routines warrant a trip to the physician.

They could be an indication of cancer, or they may indicate some other problem such as chronic bronchitis or acid reflux.

12- Mouth Changes:

If you smoke or chew tobacco, then you have to be particularly alert for any white spots in your mouth or white stains in your tongue. These modifications may signal leukoplakia, a pre-cancerous region which could happen with continuing annoyance. This illness can progress to prostate cancer.

You should Report the adjustments to your physician or dentist. The dentist or physician should have a careful history, inspect the changes, then determine what other tests may be required.

Your Physician Should have a careful history, examine your neck, listen to your lungs, then decide their work with a spirometry test, also, if you’re a smoker, arrange X-rays. When the main reason for the coughing is recognized, the health care provider will work with you to ascertain a treatment program.

13- Difficulty Swallowing:

Some guys may report difficulty swallowing but then discount it, Lichtenfeld says. “Over time they alter their diet into a more liquid diet plan. They begin to drink soup” But swallowing problems, ” he says, might be an indicator of a GI cancer, such as cancer of the esophagus.

Let your Doctor know if you’re having trouble swallowing. Your physician should have a careful history and maybe purchase a torso X-ray along with a barium swallow. The health care provider can also send one to an expert to get an upper GI endoscopy to test your stomach and upper GI tract.

14- Blood Where It Should Not Be:

“Anytime you see blood coming out of a body area in which you’ve never noticed it before, visit a physician. Expert says. “Should you start coughing up blood, spitting up blood, have blood from the gut or in the urine, then it is time for a physician visit.”

It is a mistake to presume blood in the feces is only out of hemorrhoid. “It may be colon cancer.

Your Physician Should ask you questions regarding your symptoms. The physician may also order tests such as a colonoscopy. This is an assessment of the colon with a long flexible tube with a camera on one end. The objective of a colonoscopy would be to recognize any symptoms of cancer or precancer or determine some other causes of the bleeding.

15- Allergic Problems:

As men age, prostate problems become more regular. Those issues include the following:

  • The impulse To urinate more frequently, particularly at nighttime
  • A feeling of urgency
  • A sense of not completely emptying the bladder
  • An inability to begin the urine flow
  • Urine leaking while coughing or laughing
  • A portion of the pee flow

“Every Guy Will create these issues because he gets old. However, as soon as you observe these signs, you should seek medical care.” That is particularly true when the symptoms get worse.

Your Physician Must do a digital rectal examination, which will inform him whether the prostate gland is enlarged or has nodules on it. The prostate gland develops as a person ages. It is most often brought on by a noncancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.

Your Physician Should also order a blood test to look at the degree of prostate-specific antigen or PSA. PSA is a protein made by the prostate gland, and the evaluation is utilized to determine the chance of prostate cancer.

If the Physician finds abnormalities in the prostate or in the event the PSA is greater than it ought to be, your physician will refer you to a urologist and possibly arrange a biopsy. Prostate cancer could be present even with a normal PSA level.

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Breast Cancer Symptom Pictures

Breast Cancer Symptom Pictures

Breast cancer symptoms are well known and described by many health experts but unfortunately most women don’t pay enough attention to detectable and visible signs of any breast cancer symptom.

Breast cancer starts when normal cells transform into cancerous cells. As a result, breast cells begin to grow out of control. After some time breast cancerous cells form a tumor (breast lump) that can be felt and identified by palpation and could be seen on mammogram. Furthermore, Breast cancer cells can invade into surrounding tissues or spread to other areas of body. Hence, this is why breast cancer symptoms can be different in different cases.

Breast cancerous cells can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system. Through the blood and lymph system cancerous cells could appear in different organs.

Mostly breast cancer develops in women but sometimes men also can develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women.

Early breast cancer detection can insure effective modern treatment – earlier you identify breast cancer symptoms, higher would be the survival chances (up to 95-98%).

Breast Cancer Symptom

 

 

Most common breast cancer symptom

  • Breast lump,
  • Changed nipple (inverted nipple, itching nipple, unusual appearance of nipple);
  • Breast pain (localized pain, pain in armpit);
  • Breast skin appearance (skin dimpling, itching, skin changes in color and texture);
  • The Breast shape (changed breast shape on one side);
  • Breast redness (irritation, inflammation).

Breast Cancer Symptom

 

 

 

Inverted nipple – Breast Cancer Symptom

Breast Cancer Symptom

Breast cancer is above all the most dangerous cause of inverted nipple, It is an invasive cancerous tumor that develops in the mammary gland. An Inverted Nipple could certainly be the first and only sign of breast cancer.

Healthy nipples for most times “pop out” or become visible after stimulation or temperature changes. Any nipple that is indenting more than protruding can be considered as inverted nipple which should not be confused with so called “flat nipples” which are lying flat against the areola, instead of sticking out or dimpling in. Actually the inverted nipple is a condition in which the nipple is pulling inward into the breast instead of pointing outward. Some experts call it as “nipple inversion” or “nipple retraction” or “invaginated nipple”.

Breast Cancer Symptom – Signs of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Symptom

Breast cancer symptom – armpit itching, lump or pain

Breast Cancer Symptom
Armpit itching – Breast Cancer Symptom

Breast Cancer Symptom
Breast Cancer Symptom – Armpit lump or pain

Breast cancer signs in men

Breast Cancer Symptom

Male breast cancer

Breast Cancer Symptom

Male breast cancer symptoms

Early breast cancer detection is very important which can prevent deaths from breast cancer. In general, early breast cancer diagnosis, when the tumor is small and has not spread, is much easier to treat successfully.

Annual breast cancer screening tests (mammography, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular breast imaging (MBI), digital mammography, breast ultrasound, tomosynthesis, breast biopsy) are the most reliable.

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Breast Cancer in Men: Michael’s Story

Breast Cancer in Men: Michael’s Story

Breast Cancer in Men: In 2007, Michael Kovarik and his doctor discovered a lump near his left nipple, which was beginning to invert.  Michael proceeded with the necessary follow-up as his doctor ordered a series of tests. When he heard the words breast cancer, Michael didn’t have the faintest idea that men could be affected by it. His immediate thought: it’s a women’s disease.

Dealing with his breast cancer diagnosis

Michael was hesitant about sharing his diagnosis at first. “It took me a while to overcome my own shock and disbelief,” recalls Michael. When he initially opened up about his journey to others, it was not always well received. Some people became uncomfortable, and often fumbled for the right words. “After a few months, I came to a realization that I should talk about it. If no one knew that men could have breast cancer, then it was time to raise awareness.”

In the US, about 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, about 460 of whom will die. Breast cancer is often seen as a disease that affects only women; therefore, men tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage of cancer.

Michael, a retired elementary school teacher, became an active contributor of Anti-Cancer Club, an online blogging community for people to share their stories and connect with others touched by cancer. He is a former radio show host and has authored a book called Healing Within: My Journey with Breast Cancer.

Today, people still react with surprise when he talks about his cancer. But they’re not as shocked as they used to be. “I’ve noticed that people are more curious rather than uncomfortable and I certainly welcome their questions,” Michael explained.

Breast Cancer in Men: On having advanced cancer

In 2015, Michael learned that his breast cancer had spread. Feelings of despair and sadness rushed in as well as the thought that he had done everything he was supposed to as far as following his doctor’s recommendations, keeping his medical appointments, eating right, and staying fit—so how and why? But Michael’s doctor told him, “Don’t cash in your life insurance policy yet.”

Michael now has Stage 4 breast cancer, the most advanced form of the disease in which cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body, and is currently on cancer treatment. He has since become active in the metastatic breast cancer community by joining advocacy organizations such as the Male Breast Cancer Coalition and Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.

Michael explains that the conversation on advanced (also called metastatic) breast cancer is very different from what many people see or hear about breast cancer in earlier stages. Many may associate breast cancer with pink ribbons and stories about survivorship. But with advanced cancer, the discussion is about managing or minimizing symptoms of the cancer, and maintaining your quality of life. He stresses that people with advanced cancer usually don’t ever stop taking medications for their cancer.

Michael’s outlook

Michael believes that everyone has a different journey, but a person’s outlook on life guides how he or she handles setbacks. He explains, “I was scared at first and I still have breakdowns today. But I decided a while ago that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. I had to learn how to be at peace with myself. After that, I could come to peace with everything else—including my cancer.”

Michael stresses the importance of letting go of what you can’t control. Here are the top six lessons Michael wishes to share from his journey:

  1. Listen to your body. Follow up with your doctor on anything that seems off.
  2. Find good healthcare providers. I’ve had a few doctors, and some were better than others. My current doctor is not only excellent but he also knows exactly how to talk to me.
  3. Accept your feelings. It’s okay to feel fear or sadness. But it’s important to deal with them in order to move on.
  4. Share your experiences with friends, family, or supporters.
  5. Be aware of feelings of depression. It’s common for people with cancer to experience major depression. Seek help if you have it.
  6. Have quiet time to listen to your thoughts. It’s during these reflection moments that I realize it’s time to face my fears or that I find more strength within.

Breast Cancer in Men

“Because of where I’m at, when I take my dog—Polar—for a walk, I’ll notice that the stars are shinier and more beautiful against the night sky. I find joy in the simple things.”

Caroline Pak, PharmD, is a pharmacist and the Medical Editor-in-Chief for Get Healthy Stay Healthy at Pfizer.


References
  • 1. American Cancer Society. What Are the Key Statistics About Breast Cancer in Men? Accessed August 4, 2017.
  • 2. Stang A, Thomssen C. Decline in breast cancer incidence in the United States: what about male breast cancer? Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008;112:595-596.
  • 3. da Silva TL. Male breast cancer: medical and psychological management in comparison to female breast cancer: a review. Cancer Treat Commun. 2016;7:23-34.

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5 Signs & Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

5 Signs & Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

5 Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer

When Meghan Hall, 34, was diagnosed with breast cancer, it wasn’t because she (or a doctor) felt a lump. She didn’t know the 5 signs and symptoms to check.

“I noticed something green spilled on the front of my shirt. I didn’t think anything of it—until I tried to take it off and realized it was stuck to my nipple,” says Meghan. “My breast was leaking green fluid.”

That’s right: Meghan’s breast cancer symptom was green fluid leaking from her nipples—and her experience isn’t unique. According to preliminary research presented at the UK National Cancer Research Institute’s (NCRI) 2016 conference, one in six women who discovered their cancer themselves caught it based on a less-obvious symptom, like nipple abnormalities and weight loss (a.k.a. not a lump).

These self-reported cancers—especially ones that don’t involve the typical lump—highlight why it’s so important to pay attention to any strange symptoms or changes you may be experiencing, in addition to staying on top of your mammograms and annual checkups, says Neelima Denduluri, M.D., the associate chair of The U.S. Oncology Network Breast Committee.

Instead, it’s best to examine your breasts as a whole. Keep track of what they normally feel and look like. So you can report any changes to your doc, whether they’re cancer or not, she adds. Here’s what to look out for besides lumps:

1 of 5 signs. Dimply, scaly, patchy, or inflamed skin

You know your boobs and their little quirks (like how Leftie fills out your bra so much better than Rightie). So if you notice any changes to their normal appearance, pay attention, says Debra Patt, M.D. Dr. Patt is an ob-gyn and breast cancer expert with Texas Oncology, a practice in The US Oncology Network.

“Any unusual thickening, redness, rash, dimpling, or puckering of your breast skin, or around the nipple, should be checked out by your doctor,” she explains.

2 of 5 signs. Nipple changes

Only mannequins have perfect, pointy, well-behaved nipples; real, human women have to deal with different colors and sizes, positions, textures, and (gasp) hair.

Fortunately all of these things are totally normal and not a problem as long as they’re your normal, says Denduluri. For example, if your nips have always been inverted, that’s just how you’re shaped. But, if they change suddenly, going from pointy to fully or partially inverted, call your doctor stat. Check for any changes in your nipples, including their color and texture, to rule out cancer, she says.

Oh, and BTW, hairy nipples on women have nothing to do with cancer and are totally normal. One in three women have nipple hair, even if they won’t admit it, she adds.

3 of 5 signs. Nipple discharge

Is there anything more alarming than having your breasts start squirting liquid when there’s no baby involved? “It’s normal to have some leakage during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and up to a year after weaning your baby, but if you notice any discharge any other time have your doctor evaluate it,” says Patt.

Random discharge, especially if it’s red or green or has an odor, can mean you have a problem, including cancer of the breast or the pituitary gland, she explains.

4 of 5 signs. Painful swelling

Swollen and painful breasts are, well, a pain—and while they’re mainly due to hormonal changes (like PMS or pregnancy), they can be linked to breast cancer.

It’s all about the size and placement of the tumor, says Patt, which can be responsible for a change in the size or shape of your breast, or cause of painful swelling. While the vast majority of women who report breast pain do not have cancer, if breast pain and swelling isn’t linked to your menstrual cycle, you’re not breastfeeding, and it appears suddenly or doesn’t go away, give your doctor a call because whatever is happening needs to be addressed, adds Patt.

5 of 5 signs. Changes that aren’t related to your boobs at all

Back pain, neck pain, and unexplained weight loss were all listed as other symptoms that led women to seek medical care and ultimately get diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the NCRI study.

That’s because breast cancer can spread before it’s caught, causing symptoms in body parts that have nothing to do with your boobs. It’s not possible to identify every possible sign of breast cancer (or, rather, that list would be way too long to be meaningful) so when it comes to early detection, you are your own best weapon, says Denduluri. Overall, have your doctor check any persistent, noticeable change.

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Breast cancer diagnosis jolts husbands

Breast cancer diagnosis jolts husbands

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Jolts Husbands into challenging new role

News – Jackson Newspapers – Ripley, WV

By Dina Gerdeman
Wednesday Oct 28, 2009 at 12:01 AM Oct 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Jolts Husbands: When women are diagnosed with breast cancer, the men in their lives are deeply affected as well and often experience a wide range of emotions.

Jay Morris stood by his wife, helping her through her battle with breast cancer every step of the way. Without minimizing how tough it was for her, he said the journey was at times horrendous for him as well.

Jay and Kristina Morris were engaged in 2002 when Kristina got the awful news that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. Kristina wondered if Jay may want to part ways, but Jay wouldn’t think of letting her go.

The Whitman couple decided to get married earlier than originally planned. Shortly afterward, Kristina went through a mastectomy and grueling chemotherapy treatments, with her husband helping her through it all. Jay Morris said the experience took a lot out of him.

“It was by far the worst thing I ever went through. I wasn’t the one who had cancer,” Jay Morris, 39, said.

“I would watch them put poison in her body to kill the cancer cells. And, I would physically watch the life get sucked out of her. She would turn pale, and by the time she left there, she was unable to walk. Then she’d be in bed for a week, vomiting, dealing with thrush, these terrible blisters in her mouth. There were multiple trips to the hospital. You feel so helpless watching someone you love battling this God-forsaken thing.”

The Husband Experience

Many husbands experience fear and worry for the future, anger about why the couple is dealing with cancer. Also, a sense of helplessness in not being able to single-handedly control or fix the illness. And, all of that is often mixed with the feeling that they need to be constantly positive and supportive for their ailing wives.

What can make it even harder for men is that they may keep their emotions to themselves, shrugging off counseling or even feeling reluctant to have a heart-to-heart with a close friend.

“Men are less likely to seek (emotional) support than women,” said Patricia Kartiganer, a licensed clinical social worker at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center who counsels patients, couples and other family members dealing with breast cancer. “It’s harder for men to let their hair down and talk to somebody about how they’re feeling. That’s not what they’re socialized to do. Women are more used to sharing in that way.”

Men often feel they have to be the strong ones, so they keep their chins up. Wives sometimes misinterpret that tough exterior, Kartiganer said.

“The husbands may not be crying about this, and I’ll have women say to me, ‘I’m worried about him because he doesn’t get it. This cancer could do me in, and he’s not prepared.’ But all he’s trying to do is be the strong guy,” she said.

Getting Help

When Kartiganer meets with couples, she helps them get out of the practice of protecting each other and instead work on getting real with how they feel.

“The patient is protecting the husband and the husband is protecting the patient, and they’re both protecting the children,” she said. “But they need to communicate.”

Couples dealing with breast cancer often struggle with intimacy issues, Kartiganer said.

“Women who have undergone a lumpectomy or masectomy or hair loss aren’t feeling very sexy,” she said. “And men who have their own needs for attention and intimacy can feel guilty about their own needs. Intimacy can be put on the back burner temporarily. I talk to couples about other ways of being intimate, like holding hands and having designated couple time.”

It can be an emotionally charged and difficult time for a marriage, but many couples come through it stronger, Kartiganer said.

“This can be a real challenge for a marriage,” she said. “If a marriage is good to begin with, it usually stays good and can often get even better. If there are problems in the marriage, the couple might see a short-term gain (after diagnosis). But then things go back to the way they were but worse because this ends up being an added stressor.”

Life After Cancer

After Kristina Morris was told she was cancer-free, the couple went on to adopt a son. Kristina later gave birth to two daughters, and shortly after their third child was born, Kristina was diagnosed with breast cancer again in 2008. This time, Jay Morris was floored.

“I was beyond devastated,” said Morris, whose children are 6, 2 and 1. “Also, I couldn’t talk to anyone about it without breaking down. I was thinking selfishly because, at this point, it’s a whole different world when there’s three kids involved. I was a disaster and she was tough, hugging me and saying we’ll get through this again. And, I would go to work and start thinking, ‘What would I do for day care?’ I would have to pull over and force myself to redirect my thoughts because I was about to go insane. I worked myself up into a state.”

Jay Morris did discuss his deepest fears with friends, but not his wife. If Kristina started a “what if” conversation about the worst-case scenario, he would change the subject.

“I didn’t want to talk to her about that,” he said. “She had enough on her plate. I don’t want to dwell on that with her.”

A Husband’s Way

He found perhaps the best way of helping both of them was by making light of a dark situation, cracking jokes that he hoped would put a smile on his wife’s face at a time when all she could see was fear.

“How many times can you say, ‘Listen, it’s going to be OK’? And besides, it’s hard to say that because you don’t know if that’s true,” he said.

When Kristina was dealing with options for reconstructing her breast, Jay said he could care less if a nipple was included. He joked that they could “save a lot of money if they just put a pepperoni on there.” He would jokingly tell her, “Don’t get too close to me. I don’t want to catch your cancer.” And when she called him after finding out she had congestive heart failure on top of everything else – possibly as a side effect of cancer treatments – Jay came out with, “The only side effect you haven’t had is an erection lasting longer than four hours.”

“All you can do is laugh about it because otherwise you’d be on top of the Golden Gate Bridge,” he said. “It helped to still be us through this. This cancer didn’t have to take us.”

Indeed, Kristina said Jay’s medicine has worked well for her. She said her husband always seems to know what she needs. “If I want to sob, he will console me. Or he’ll see the look in my eyes and pat my hand. But then five minutes later, he’s saying something really stupid to make me laugh,” said Kristina, 36, whose examinations show no evidence of cancer in her body today. “He doesn’t talk about his fears with me. Sometimes I wish he would, but that might make me more fearful, and I think he knows I’m fearful enough for the both of us. We’ve been through hell and back, but we’ve done it side by side. There’s no way I would have survived without him.”

A Reporter’s Story

When Kelley Tuthill, a Hingham native and reporter for WCVB-Channel 5, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was afraid her husband Brendan Ward might “freak out.” Instead, Ward felt incredibly calm and confident that his strong wife would beat the disease and that they could get through it together.

“I don’t know where that came from,” said Ward, 38, who lives in Wellesley with Tuthill and their two daughters, ages 5 and 3. “It just felt like this big challenge that we had to rise up and meet.”

The couple got the news on Dec. 22, 2006, and for a few days kept it to themselves.

“My husband and I spent the weekend before Christmas crying, hugging and being scared together. It was just us,” Tuthill, 39, said. “We didn’t tell anyone else because we didn’t want to ruin Christmas.”

Tuthill, whose examinations now show no evidence of cancer, is grateful for the way her husband “kept it all together” and also agreed to open their lives so she could share her journey on television. Yet Ward acknowledged that the year and a half of treatment certainly wasn’t easy. There were so many doctors to deal with, and the health care system could be challenging, he said, but he felt it was important to keep his own frustration in check.

“You have multiple doctors and multiple treatment plans. It can be very complex and confusing. But you can’t fly off the handle at the doctors,” he said. “You have to be patient. You can’t be the problem. Also, You have to be an advocate for your wife, make sure she’s being taken care of and ask questions about things that seem confusing.”

Another Way

At times he felt for the sake of both of them that it was best to “tag out” and let another family member, like Tuthill’s mother, help make decisions. For instance, he didn’t feel he needed to get in on decisions about his wife’s breast reconstruction, which can be a sensitive subject for many women who may worry how their husbands will feel after they have had a mastectomy.

“When it comes to breast reconstruction, there are a myriad of options and things to consider and it all comes down to personal style and taste,” Ward said. “I personally didn’t care. I don’t think any guy who loves his wife really cares. It would be a very shallow and insensitive thing to care about. I just wanted the cancer to be gone.”

Ward said he didn’t seek counseling but can see why some husbands could benefit from talking it out because the long emotional haul can take its toll. “For a while you’re working on this higher level of adrenaline. You just have to keep going and going and going. It sort of feels like this race,” he said. “And afterward, you are tired. I know that I got older from the whole process.”

Yet Ward said the experience did bring the couple closer.

“This brought everything into focus for us,” he said. “We had to work through it as a couple. You realize later what a major thing we went through. This is what we were talking about in church – for better or worse. Now that we’re through it, we’re more grateful for what we have.”

The Patriot Ledger

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