As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gef is profiling the models for the Fashion for Life fashion show, in aid of Isle of Man Breast Care and Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the IOM. The show, which takes place on Friday 22nd October, will feature 80s-inspired fashion, modeled by local survivors of breast cancer. You can book tickets at: villagaiety.com/whats-on/fashion-for-life/

What is your name?

Bruno Barton

Tell us about you and your life pre-diagnosis.

There’s a lot to cover, but I moved to the island in 2007, and, prior to my diagnosis of breast cancer, I worked in the aviation industry- however I have worked as an entertainer and a writer. 

When were you diagnosed with breast cancer, and how old were you?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, at the age of 60. 

How were you diagnosed?

I found a raised lump on my chest, and headed to the doctor. The doctor initially believed the lump was a cyst, but I wasn’t happy with that diagnosis, so headed to a second doctor. The second doctor also believed it was a cyst, but sent me for further testing, which showed that it was breast cancer.

Tell us about your treatment

Because the cancer was caught quite early, I had a single-mastectomy. If I had waited longer for diagnosis, I may have had to have had chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy: both treatments that can be unpleasant.

Advice I’d give

It’s important that you don’t ignore lumps if they appear. There are very few reasons why a lump would appear on a man’s chest, so it is vital you get checked out and insist on tests, if they’re not offered to you. There is still unfortunately a misconception that breast cancer does not appear in men- even, surprisingly, among medical professionals.

I would always encourage people to continue with physio exercises after treatment: they really do make a difference!

What I wish I’d known

I wish I’d have known the impact and lows that breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can cause.

Tell us about your life now and the impacts it has had on you

I currently work on creative projects, and I’m just about to launch a comedy writing and marketing course. In regards to treatment, I still use the drug Tamoxifen daily, an elective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM). 

How were you supported by Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the IOM, Isle of Man Breast Care and other Manx BC Charities?

After being diagnosed and having treatment, although I generally had a very optimistic outlook, I did struggle with depression. Sharon Maddrell, from Isle of Man Breast Care, gave me vital emotional support in a difficult time. 

Thank you to Bruno Barton for sharing his story.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are selling Mystic Chest t-shirts and jumpers at: https://www.gefthemongoose.net/shop/collections/mystic-chest

Learn more about the collection and the story behind it at https://gef.im/2021/10/13/check-your-mystic-chest/

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