A MAN who has had to wait more than five years to find out what a lump in his chest was thinks men deserve quicker diagnosis so rare forms of breast cancer can be ruled out.
Bryn Hopkins, 46, discovered the bean-sized lump below his nipple in 2017 and was worried it could be cancerous.
After visiting his GP, he was told the lump was gynaecomastia - a concentration of breast tissue often found in men and boys.
It often goes away without any treatment but as the years went by, Bryn noticed his lump was getting bigger.
“It’s about the size of a golf ball right now, and its incredibly painful to the touch,” said Bryn, of Loxley Avenue, Wombwell.
“It’s got to the point that it hurts when my shirt brushes against it which I don’t think is normal.”
Bryn has spent more than four years pushing for tests to rule out cancer - and finaly got confirmation that it was just gynaecomastica this week.
However, he has now been told he will just have to live with the painful lump as he is not entitled to have any surgery on the NHS because the procedure is classed as ‘cosmetic’ with medics insisting the lump will not impact his quality of life.
But Bryan disagrees - and says the lump is having a massive impact on his life and is hoping the decision can be overturned.
“If a woman finds a lump on her breast, she will have tests and the lump removed because of the risk of cancer,” said Bryn.
“I’m not disputing that that is a good thing, but I am now worrying that my health isn’t being taken seriously.
“I feel like I am being written off because I am male and that I have fallen through the cracks for treatment.
“The lump is causing me a significant amount of pain and impacts what exercise I can do and what shirts I wear. It’s not something trivial I can sleep off or get rid of with a cream. This has been going on for five years, how much longer do I have to be in pain before I can have an operation to remove it?
“I don’t understand how the procedure would be ‘cosmetic’ because it’s not like I am asking for implants removing - I have a large and painful lump that I want to get rid of.”
Bryn hopes that his story will bring about a change to the way men in his position are treated, and has even written to his MP, Stephanie Peacock, to attempt to bring the issue to national attention.
“I don’t want someone else to have to live like I have for the past few years,” said Bryn. “The fear of cancer looming over your head is very stressful, and even though I have been told I don’t have cancer, I am still in pain from the lump.
“I understand there are procedures to follow but they shouldn’t be at the risk of making people suffer in pain.”
A spokesperson for Barnsley Hospital said: “We advise the gentleman to contact our Patient Advice and Complaints Team if he feels that it would help.
“If he’s concerned about the lump, we advise that he contact his GP at the earliest opportunity.”