A man in the U.K. who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer says the treatment drugs gave him menopause-like symptoms, including hot flushes and severe dizzy spells.

Mark Nock, a former nurse from Birmingham, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. He noticed a lump on his chest when a colleague accidentally spilled water on his uniform.

"The moment I felt that lump I knew what it was, I can't explain it, I just knew. My lump was obvious, I could feel it through the thick tunic, and it felt like a thick rubber polo mint," the 61-year-old man said.

He then underwent a full mastectomy that involves surgical removal of the breast, including the nipple, areola and the skin over the breast. After the procedure, medics prescribed him hormone therapy to help stop estrogen from binding to the breast cancer cells.

"The type of breast cancer I had is estrogen positive. A lot of people think estrogen is a women's hormone and testosterone is male but everyone has both. The treatment is identical in men and women, requiring a full mastectomy and the same medication," Nock said.

However, the therapy drugs gave him menopause-like symptoms, including hot flushes, severe dizzy spells and morning sickness. He eventually took early retirement as the symptoms got worse.

"Breast cancer is very rare in men – the treatments are the same, and I was prescribed Tamoxifen. These drugs have barely been tested on men and are designed for women's hormone balance, so I was a bit of a lab rat," Nock said, reported Wales Online.

Five years after the dreadful diagnosis, Nock is now cancer free. He now raises awareness and encourages both men and women to get checked for breast cancer.

Male breast cancer

Although breast cancer is more often found in women, men too can develop the disease. It is estimated that one out of every 100 breast cancer cases reported in the U.S. is found in a man. Male breast cancer is more common in older men, although it can occur at any age.

Who is at risk of getting it?

  • Men under the age of 35 are less likely to develop breast cancer. The risk goes up with the age. It is usually seen in men between the ages of 60 and 70.
  • Men who are obese are at higher risk.
  • The risk is high if there is a family history of breast cancer.
  • Men who have enlarged breasts or gynecomastia are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Gynecomastia occurs due to aging, hormone treatments, certain medications and infections.
  • The risk is high if a person has a history of radiation exposure to the chest.
  • Certain diseases or injuries that affect testicles can increase the odds of breast cancer in males.
  • Individuals with rare genetic conditions like Klinefelter syndrome are at higher risk. Klinefelter syndrome occurs when a person has an extra X chromosome, which leads to higher levels of estrogen in the body.

Early signs to watch out for

The symptoms are similar in men and women.

1. A lump or thickening in the breast or the underarm area

2. Changes in the size or shape of the breast

3. Changes to the breast skin, including signs of dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling

4. Changes to the nipple such as redness, scaling and nipple turning inward

5. Nipple discharge

6. Pain in the nipple area


The treatment for male breast cancer depends on the size of the tumor and the extent of the spread. It includes surgical removal of the breast, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.

Male Breast Cancer
It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 breast cancer cases reported in the U.S. is found in a man. pixabay