Brave Blades Fan Battles Breast Cancer Which Affects Only 350 Men a Year

19th March 2015

Sheffield man, Martin White is certainly no stranger to the word cancer.

Having being diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the young age of 17 and undergoing surgery followed by Radiotherapy treatment at Weston Park Hospital, Martin was hopeful that his cancer journey was behind him. After a turbulent year and 6 months after surgery, Martin got the all clear and despite missing lots of school, he managed to pass his A Level exams and go on to a career in town planning. But 25 years later in September 2013, Martin, who, ever since initial diagnosis, had been determined to face life in a positive and motivated manner, was given yet another shocking diagnosis, and this time, he really thought his luck had run out. Martin (42) found a small lump in his left breast and ahead of his appointment with the GP, was instantly concerned that after such a long time of being cancer free, the Lymphoma had made an unwelcome return. To his surprise, Martin found himself back at Weston Park Hospital where he was given the unexpected diagnosis of grade 2 HE2R positive breast cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes. Breast Cancer is extremely rare in men and only 350 men are diagnosed each year in the UK, compared with around 50,000 cases of breast cancer in women. Martin said, -Although I had already fought cancer once in my life and many of my family members had also bravely battled the disease, I was still understandably shocked that I had to start this daunting journey once again. -Like many others, I didn't associate breast cancer with males and it wasn't until I saw a display in my local walk-in centre clinic that I realised the possibility of it affecting me. Martin underwent chemotherapy, major surgery, plus eighteen rounds of Herceptin at Weston Park Hospital before being told the welcome news that his treatment had once again been successful. Following the end of his treatment this year, in a bid to say thank you to Weston Park Hospital for the wonderful standard of care he received during both cancer battles, Martin is taking on The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in April alongside his Oncologist, Dr Matt Winter to raise money for the hospital's dedicated charity. Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for Weston Park Hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer. Throughout 2015 the charity will fund various projects to enable the continued improvement of Weston Park Hospital; including the expansion of research studies, improving the way cancer treatments are delivered and supporting the ongoing care provisions of patients and their families affected by cancer. Research undertaken at the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre at Weston Park Hospital has contributed to the successful launch of a number of effective new cancer treatments including Herceptin. The cancer charity are proud to provide funding for this vital research facility, in collaboration with the wider cancer network, which enables local research studies to be carried out within the hospital, as part of the integrated fight against cancer worldwide. Martin continued, -I'll be running this year's half marathon in Sheffield so that I can get fit again whilst raising money for this incredible charity. -Weston Park Hospital provides everyday support to everyone in our region affected by cancer. From the Cancer Support Centre to the day case worker, the services which are on offer thanks to funding from the cancer charity are vital for improving the patient journey. -It's great that the charity can continue funding posts like Dave the support worker, who is a familiar face to all the patients making sure they have food and drink and offering a friendly ear for general chats throughout the long days. Although Martin is now focusing on training for the running challenge whilst taking hormone tablets, Tamoxifen for the next few years, sadly his family's battle with cancer is far from over. For many, one cancer diagnosis is hard enough, but for Martin who has personally fought cancer twice, having 5 of his family members undergo the same struggle in the last ten years is incomprehensible. In 2006, Martins Auntie, Clementine Moran was diagnosed with breast cancer and after being treated at Weston Park Hospital sadly passed away surrounded by her family. Just a year later Martin's mum, Norah, was also diagnosed with the same disease followed by both his younger and older sisters Claire and Georgina just a few years later. In a cruel twist of fate and after an unimaginably distressing few years, just three days after Martin's breast cancer treatment ended, younger sister Claire Griffiths was given the news that her breast cancer had retuned and is currently receiving treatment. Martin continued, -Our family is a good example of why trying to understand more about cancer is so important. It is better to develop a future where we can offer more preventative actions rather than rely on reactive treatment. With the marathon only a few weeks away Martin, who developed an interest in endurance sports a few years ago, is eager to step up his training regime and run to join the fight against his family's seemingly never-ending battle with cancer. Weston Park Hospital Oncologist, Matt Winter, who Martin credits for his own positive outlook in life, is also taking on the challenge to help raise funds for the cancer charity. He continued, -My training gives me focus and although I am slower than I used to be, I apply the same principle to my cancer treatment- get around the next corner, then the other and after a few more you finally reach the finish line. Martin added, -If I can run faster than my Oncologist, Dr Matt Winter then that will be a big bonus! -Cancer can come at any age, affect anyone and under any circumstances, so if I can help raise awareness, especially in rare cancers such as male breast cancer, then I will do what I can to help others. This year, the popular half marathon boasts a brand new route with a city centre start and finish, taking in some of the most spectacular views across the Peak District. Charity fundraiser, Sarah Cross said, -Martin and his family have been through such an unbelievable cancer journey and we are incredibly grateful for Martins support. -It's fantastic that he wants to step out and join #TeamWestonPark at this years Plusnet Half Marathon and even better that he can run alongside his very own oncologist, Matt Winter! -Male breast cancer is very rare, so the more Martin can do to raise awareness is great for others who may find themselves in a similar position in the future. -We're urging anyone who wants to join our team on the 12th of April to sign up today and help raise vital sponsorship for the cancer charity. The hospital provides cancer treatment services for patients across the region which means that patients from Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop, Chesterfield, and beyond benefit from donations made to the charity. To sponsor Martins run visit his JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/martin-white10/ To sign up for The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon and run for Team Weston Park visit www.runandraise.org.uk To find out more about the work of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity visit http://www.wphcancercharity.org.uk/ or call the office on 01142265370.

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