A CAMPAIGNER who is the youngest man in Britain to be diagnosed with breast cancer is to launch a nationwide campaign calling for the name of the illness to be changed.
Nicky Avery, 27, from Southend, is launching an awareness campaign today urging health authorities to change the name of male breast cancer to chest cancer.
His move is designed to raise awareness of the disease in men and get them to seek treatment if they find any lumps. Nicky who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24, found out he had developed bone cancer in March.
Celebrities including male dance group the Dreamboys, X-Factor star Andy Abrahams and unlicensed boxer Lew Yates are helping Nicky launch the Call It What It Is campaign a launch today.
Nicky said: “I want to make a difference. I’ve tried various things, I did a documentary about male breast cancer and even applied for Big Brother. It’s lucky I didn’t get in though, as I’ve since had the secondary cancer.
“I want to get the terminology changed so men get checked if they find something. For men it’s such a taboo and so many men don’t know they can even get it. I want the name less feminine so I say call it what it is – chest cancer.”
Nicky is still has three more gruelling chemotherapy sessions at Southend Hospital to go. He is also going through a painful procedure called bone fusion, which weakens then strengthens the bones. The Arsenal fan, who has already undergone a mastectomy, said: “It roughs me up and some days I can hardly walk it’s like growing pains. But I crack on and do it , and do it with a smile.
“If I can fight cancer twice in three years I can fight anything.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my fiancee Cheryl and my family. Without them I’m nothing.”
Around 300 men in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, compared to 44,500 women and Nicky wants men to check themselves.
The launch will be held at the Sugar Hut in High Street Brentwood from 2pm today.
He added: “I want men to listen and check themselves with their wives or girlfriends and get it checked out if you find a lump in your chest or nipple. You should be checking your chest and your testicles for lumps. It could save your life.
“My cancer is not terminal but you don’t know how long you’ve got left on this planet. I just want to try to do something constructive and positive with my life.”