A father-of-five battling breast cancer has been given a supportive boost by his teenage son in his fight against the rare male disease.
Bill Brega, of Bury St Edmunds, first discovered he had breast cancer six years ago - joining the 370 men annually diagnosed with the condition in the UK.
The 64-year-old said: “I think when I was originally diagnosed I was the only man at West Suffolk Hospital to have it. Breast cancer is very unusual with men and a lot of men don’t even know they can get it.”
His children have been there every step of the way with son George, 13, recently shaving his head in a school assembly in aid of Cancer Research. Meanwhile, daughter Holly says she is tempted to wear blue at Race for Life to show men can also be affected by the disease.
George smashed his fundraising target of £250 at Horringer Court Middle School – reaching £873 after the headshave at Horringer Court Middle on his 13th birthday.
He said: “When my friends first found out about dad having breast cancer they all thought I was talking about my mum.
“They were a bit confused so I had to explain that men can have it, too.”
When he was first diagnosed, Mr Brega quickly underwent surgery and after a round of chemotherapy was given the all clear.
He said: “When I was first diagnosed I just went to the doctors because I didn’t feel right and one nipple was slightly inverted.
“The cancer was quite advanced - I couldn’t feel any lumps but I knew something wasn’t right.
“Within four or five weeks I was having chemotherapy.
“When I found out I had breast cancer it was a real shock but the MacMillan nurses are very good and explained it to me -you get great support from them.”
But in February this year it was discovered he had secondary breast cancer that had spread to his lungs and bones.
Mr Brega, who owns a landscaping business, is now four sessions into his 12-session chemotherapy course and is looking positively at the future.
His family are now attempting to raise the profile of breast cancer among men.
Holly said she thought men are often overlooked in breast cancer campaigns.
“I guess it’s because everything is coloured pink – many people think only women can get it,” she said.
“It is tempting to wear blue at Race for Life to show that men can be affected by it too.”
To donate to George’s headshave fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/Julie-Brega