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Desperate grandad tries to CUT OFF own breast with Stanley knife after cancer surgery; Peter Bagnall, from Birmingham, was left feeling "lopsided" after undergoing a mastectomy to remove his male breast cancer.

Byline: Sophie Evans

A desperate grandad tried to cut off his own breast with a Stanley knife after undergoing surgery to treat his rare malebreast cancer.

Peter Bagnall, from Stechford, Birmingham, found a lump under his nipple in 2013, which turned out to be the devastating disease.

Left feeling embarrassed and like he "wasn't a man", he underwent a mastectomy which saw his left breast removed bysurgeons.

But following the procedure, he started to feel "lopsided" - becoming so unhappy with his body that he tried to chop his right breast off.

"I used a carving knife and a Stanley knife," Peter, now 56, recalled.

"It was 2am in the morning - I was in a dark place."

Fortunately, his wife Lorraine - who had been diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2002 - woke up and stopped him.

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He was given stitches and "house-sectioned" - meaning he had to stay at home for two weeks while being monitored by mental health services.

Then in 2014, a year after the first mastectomy, Peter underwent a second, "purely cosmetic", operation to remove his remaining breast.

He also had "nipples" tattooed on his chest.

Since then, he has regained his confidence. However, he tragically lost Lorraine aged 57 last year after she developed bone cancer.

"We lived the best final 18 months we could have possibly lived," Peter said. "We travelled all over Europe and had some wonderful times."

Now, the brave grandad wants to raise awareness of male breast cancer and the importance of men checking their breasts.

Around 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, while 55,000 women are diagnosed with the disease.

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Peter, who works as a parts quality inspector for Land Rover, said: "In March, 2013, I just noticed a lump in my breast.

"I didn't know why, but I thought 'that's a bit strange'.

"I left it - but it kept growing and started to change shape.

"Lorraine made me go to the doctors. The doctor sent me to the breast cancer team, and they did an ultrasound, then a biopsy.

"It was breast cancer. I did not know anything about it."

He added that everything to do with the cancer appeared to be "female".

"It's a female pamphlet - everything is female," he said.

"I just wanted to hide away from it.

"It was embarrassing to tell people - I felt like I wasn't a man.

"I called it 'breasticular cancer' just to put a male side on it.

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"I don't think I coped with having the cancer, even though I didn't have to have chemotherapy.

"I just needed Tamoxifen - an oestrogen-controlling drug.

"But I had a masectomy - they took the left breast off.

"From then on, I just felt lopsided.

"I started to get a body image problem. "

Peter asked medics whether they could remove his other breast too. However, he claims that he was "offered nothing".

"It took me to the stage where I tried to cut it off," he said.

"I went downstairs to do it, but luckily Lorraine woke up. I was taken to hospital and then referred to the mental health team.

"It was quite a deep cut - I had meant to cut it off, but Lorraine stopped me. I had to have six stitches. I was desperate to get balance again.

"The mental health people took over.

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"I wasn't sectioned, but I was 'house-sectioned' - where they come to your house every day to check on you. "

The year after he first found the lump under his nipple, Peter underwent another operation which saw his right breast taken off.

"It was purely cosmetic, but it was a massive thing to me," he said.

"I thought people were staring, even though they weren't. It had become such an issue that I couldn't take my top off, couldn't go to work.

"I had a five-year check-up this year, and the nurses asked if I wanted nipple tattoos. I hadn't even thought about it, but it has given me a lot more confidence. I can go swimming again.

"I love swimming, but I did not go for four years."

He added: "Breast cancer is rare in men but there are still more than 300 lives affected by it each year.

"You can't compare where I am now with my worst times.

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"I have come to terms with it. I am easy with it.

"I can quite easily say 'I have got breast cancer'.

"A higher percentage of men with breast cancer die compared to females, because men don't check.

"I want to get the message out there that men can get it. "

Peter's wife Lorraine first got cancer in 2002. The couple had nine children between them, aged 19 to 39, and 13 grandchildren.

"She had a full mastectomy, then she had chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She ended up with lymphoma," Peter said.

"In 2015, she had severe back pain.

"On Mother's Day, 2016, I got her an ambulance because it was so bad.

"The doctors found it was bone cancer of the back. It is terminal."

Lorraine underwent chemotherapy and the pair travelled across Europe, making incredible memories together.

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"We had just got back from the French Alps when she got quite poorly and she went into hospital," Peter continued.

"They gave her another dose of chemotherapy, so we had another two months. She was so brave and inspirational.

"Eventually, they found her kidneys were failing.

"She died on November 20, 2017.

"It has been so traumatic for the family.

"It has been a hell of a time."

He added: "If someone offered me all the wealth in the world, or one last hug [with Lorraine], I would take the hug."

Whatever you're going through, the Samaritans are there to listen any time, free from any phone on 116 123.

They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information on how they can help, visittheir website here.

CAPTION(S):

Credit: SWNS

Peter Bagnall has had "nipples" tattooed on his chest, which have helped him to regain his confidence

Credit: SWNS

Peter desperately tried to cut off his own breast with a Stanley knife

Credit: SWNS

He is pictured with his wife Lorraine, who fortunately woke up and stopped him from chopping his breast off

Credit: SWNS

Peter, from Birmingham, underwent a second mastectomy in 2014 to remove his remaining breast

Credit: SWNS

The grandad wants to raise awareness of male breast cancer and the importance of men checking their breasts

Credit: SWNS

He tragically lost Lorraine aged 57 last year after she developed bone cancer

Credit: SWNS

Peter said: "Breast cancer is rare in men but there are still more than 300 lives affected by it each year"

Credit: SWNS

Lorraine and Peter travelled across Europe, making incredible memories together, before she died
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Title Annotation:News,UK News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 29, 2018
Words:1216
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