Homes Under The Hammer: Tommy Walsh inspects property
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Walsh’s family has a history of breast cancer. His sister suffered from the disease when she was 31 and his aunt died in her 50s from it. But Walsh never thought it would happen to him. After all, only one percent of breast cancer cases are males in the UK, says Cancer Research UK.
But that’s exactly what happened.
In 2002, Walsh had “a bit of a wake-up call” after he found lumps on his chest.
He did go to the doctors, but it wasn’t for the cancer symptoms.
The lumps were more of an “afterthought”, he told the Express.
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He said: “I’ve been in pretty good health all my life but after my sister’s and aunt’s problems I thought I would mention it in a visit to my GP.
“I remember taking a while to get an appointment and when I did go it was more of an afterthought that I’d mention it.
“However given the history of breast cancer in my family I was sent to the same consultant my sister had gone to.”
Thankfully, in the end, the test results showed that it was a benign tumour.
He was taken to the hospital where they removed his lumps while under general anaesthetic.
The star admitted that before the hospital appointment he became scared about the whole ordeal.
He said: “I was being a bit of a bloke about the whole thing.
“I just buried myself in my work and then went along for the day surgery where the lumps were removed under a general anaesthetic.
“It was only then that it sort of hit me that this could actually be serious and I could have breast cancer, like my relatives.”
Around 55,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer every year compared to only 370 men, according to Breast Cancer Now.
Walsh’s aunt was one of the 11,000 women out of those with the disease that die every year.
The star told The Mirror she “went into denial about the whole thing” and died after never having treatment.
Since the ordeal, the star, who had his big break on Ground Force in 1997, has tried to raise awareness for the condition.
“I want to make sure the message is out there that men need to be vigilant about their health too,” he told This Morning in 2013.
“Most just think it won’t happen to them,” added Walsh.
According to Cancer Research UK, the most common symptoms of breast cancer for men are:
- A lump that is nearly always painless
- Oozing from the nipple that might be blood-stained
- Swelling of the breast
- A sore in the skin of the breast
- A lump or swelling under the arm
- A rash on or around the nipple.
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