A Sheffield man whose sisters have been battling breast cancer understands their fight better than most – because he has had it too.
Martin White’s mum and two sisters have all had breast cancer – and his auntie died of the disease – but it was still a shock when he found a lump in his own breast.
The Blades fan battled lymphoma as a teenager then in September 2013 got his second cancer diagnosis.
Breast cancer is rare in men and affects just 350 a year compared to 50,000 diagnoses per year for women.
Martin, of Hillsborough, said: “Despite the fact both my sisters, mum and auntie have all had breast cancer, when I found that little lump in my breast I still didn’t really think about it.
“I thought it was a bit weird but when I saw the look on the doctor’s face when I went to the walk-in centre I thought, ‘Maybe it is’.”
Martin was 17 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and underwent surgery and radiotherapy at Weston Park Hospital. He got the all-clear 18 months later and, despite missing lots of lesson time at Notre Dame School, he passed his A-levels and began a career in town planning.
When he got the breast cancer diagnosis a quarter of a century later, he thought his luck had run out.
In 2006, Martin’s auntie, Clementine Moran, was diagnosed with breast cancer and, after being treated at Weston Park, sadly died.
Just a year later his mum, Norah, was also diagnosed, followed by both his sisters Claire and Georgina just a few years later.
Martin had tests to see if he carried a hereditary faulty gene which caused his cancer – but they came back negative.
He said: “Our family is a good example of why trying to understand more about cancer is so important. It is better to develop a future where we can offer more preventative actions rather than rely on reactive treatment.”
Martin underwent chemotherapy and surgery, plus 18 rounds of Herceptin at Weston Park Hospital before being told his treatment for grade 2 HE2R positive breast cancer had been successful.
Just three days after Martin’s treatment ended, Claire was given the news her breast cancer was back and she had a mastectomy just last week.
Martin said: “The reconstruction surgery is obviously slightly different for a man and where I have had the mastectomy it doesn’t look too bad. I only had the left side removed so I will probably wait a year or so and check everything is all right on the other side before I think about reconstruction.”
Martin now plans to run the Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield on April 12 with his oncologist, Dr Matt Winter, for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
n Sponsor him at https://www.justgiving.com/martin-white10/