Catherine Tyldesley details husband Tom Pitfield’s ‘painful’ breast cancer scare

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Catherine Tyldesley details husband Tom Pitfield’s ‘painful’ breast cancer scare

Catherine Tyldesley has urged men to check their breasts for signs of cancer, after her photographer husband Tom Pitfield, 35, had a recent scare.&nbs

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Catherine Tyldesley has urged men to check their breasts for signs of cancer, after her photographer husband Tom Pitfield, 35, had a recent scare. 

Taking to Instagram on Thursday, the soap star, 39, shared a lengthy post detailing Tom’s journey, after he found a lump and had a biopsy, which was thankfully clear, and showed he had Gynecomastia – swelling of male breast tissue.

She revealed her husband, with whom she has son Alfie, eight, and daughter Ella, 12 months, was not aware men could get breast cancer before revealing she had found a lump herself and visited the same specialist Tom visited. 

In the post, she wrote: ‘I pondered over whether to share this or not- but I spoke to my husband and he agreed that it was important. @tompitfieldphotography recently found a large lump behind his nipple….

‘Naturally, when you find a lump anywhere, as much as you try not to- you worry. After a scan and an ultra sound GP still wasn’t sure what we were dealing with…

A helping hand: Catherine Tyldesley has urged men to check their breasts for signs of cancer, after her husband Tom Pitfield had a recent scare

A helping hand: Catherine Tyldesley has urged men to check their breasts for signs of cancer, after her husband Tom Pitfield had a recent scare

A helping hand: Catherine Tyldesley has urged men to check their breasts for signs of cancer, after her husband Tom Pitfield had a recent scare

Reaching out: Taking to Instagram on Thursday, the soap star, 39, shared a lengthy post detailing Tom's journey, after he found a lump and had a biopsy, which was thankfully clear, and showed he had Gynecomastia - swelling of male breast tissue

Reaching out: Taking to Instagram on Thursday, the soap star, 39, shared a lengthy post detailing Tom's journey, after he found a lump and had a biopsy, which was thankfully clear, and showed he had Gynecomastia - swelling of male breast tissue

Reaching out: Taking to Instagram on Thursday, the soap star, 39, shared a lengthy post detailing Tom’s journey, after he found a lump and had a biopsy, which was thankfully clear, and showed he had Gynecomastia – swelling of male breast tissue

Open and honest: Alongside the caption, she shared an image showing a man's nipple alongside the words: 'Male breast cancer. 1 in 200 breast cancers happen in men. Most commonly as a breast lump close to the nipple or indentation'

Open and honest: Alongside the caption, she shared an image showing a man's nipple alongside the words: 'Male breast cancer. 1 in 200 breast cancers happen in men. Most commonly as a breast lump close to the nipple or indentation'

Open and honest: Alongside the caption, she shared an image showing a man’s nipple alongside the words: ‘Male breast cancer. 1 in 200 breast cancers happen in men. Most commonly as a breast lump close to the nipple or indentation’

‘So Tom needed a biopsy. I myself found a lump a few years ago (thankfully it was nothing) but the breast specialist @jamesharvey.breastsurgeon was incredible and extremely thorough. So I was reassured when Tom was under his care…

‘The wait was painful as always. One of my male pals had breast cancer many years ago. I knew it was rare, but it happens…

‘Tom had no idea that men could even get breast cancer. Thankfully Toms results came back and it was a #Gynaecomastia…

‘Which is actually quite common in Men. We are so relieved. But our experience has made me want to raise awareness about Men’s Breast cancer. It has come to our attention that most men don’t even realise it’s a possibility…

‘Yes it’s rare but it’s absolutely worth checking your pecks Fellas!! Symptoms are Same as for women. Most commonly a lump . Could be distortion, bloody nipple discharge. Check your pecs lads! #malebreastcancer #checkyourpecs…

Scared: She admitted the wait for the results was 'painful'

Scared: She admitted the wait for the results was 'painful'

Scared: She admitted the wait for the results was ‘painful’

‘Thankyou to our ever wonderful #NHS and @jamesharvey.breastsurgeon’. 

Alongside the caption, she shared an image showing a man’s nipple alongside the words: ‘Male breast cancer. 1 in 200 breast cancers happen in men. Most commonly as a breast lump close to the nipple or indentation’. 

Her post comes six years after Catherine joined in the fundraising efforts to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Awareness in 2017 after the death of a family friend.

Speaking at the time, she said: ‘It’s a cause which I am very passionate about. I know how easily it is for the symptoms of ovarian cancer to be brushed aside by women as well as the medical profession.’

Catherine went on: ‘It’s really important that women don’t feel embarrassed with anything gynaecological and feel comfortable talking about the disease so that everyone becomes more aware’.  

Sweet: Catherine and Tom are pictured in 2020

Sweet: Catherine and Tom are pictured in 2020

Sweet: Catherine and Tom are pictured in 2020

Catherine and Tom had a whirlwind romance, and after only four months of dating discovered they were expecting their son Alfie.

They went on to welcome their second child, daughter Iris, last April.

Speaking to Notebook magazine, the actress said that meeting Tom ‘was so, so out of the blue. I’m dead lucky. He ticks every box’.

Of their surprise pregnancy with Alfie, she admitted: ‘It was a shock for us but we were both ready.’

‘The fact that I wasn’t nervous about telling him proved a point in my head that he was the right guy for me.’

What are the symptoms of male breast cancer?

Breast cancer is rare in men. There are about 350 men diagnosed each year in the UK. This compares to around 55,000 cases in women. 

The most common form of cancer in women and men is called ‘invasive breast carcinoma – no special type’. 

The risk factors for male breast cancer include:

  • Getting older 
  • High oestrogen levels 
  • Men who are very overweight (obese)
  • chronic liver conditions, such as cirrhosis
  • Some genetic conditions
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome  
  • Exposure to radiation 
  • Family members with breast cancer or a breast cancer gene 

The most common symptom for men with breast cancer is a lump in the breast area. This is nearly always painless.

Other symptoms can include:

  • oozing from the nipple (a discharge) that may be blood stained
  • swelling of the breast
  • a sore (ulcer) in the skin of the breast
  • a nipple that is pulled into the breast (called nipple retraction)
  • lumps under the arm
  • a rash on or around the nipple  

The same treatments are used for breast cancer in men as for women. 

Source: Cancer Research UK  

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