Support for female partner of a man with breast cancer



I’ve never used a forum like this before so apologies in advance if I’m asking for advice in the wrong place but currently I feel very alone and unsure about where I can access support.


In November my lovely partner was diagnosed with male breast cancer which came as a huge shock to us and many around us given its rarity.  He is 47 and I am 37. We had only been together as a couple for 12 months although we have been friends for many years.


Thankfully it was caught early and following a mastectomy he did not require chemo or radio.  However he has been taking Tamoxifen since November and this is having a huge impact on him, particularly tiredness, weight gain, painful joints and complete loss of libido.  We are also waiting for the results of his genetic test for BRCA which are due any time soon.

i am wondering if anybody is aware of any support I can access in terms of being able to talk to other young women in my position?  The majority of men with breast cancer are older and therefore it’s hard to know who I can talk to.

I am obviously grateful that the surgery was a success but I live in fear of the cancer returning.  I am also really struggling to adjust to the change in our relationship, particularly the lack of physical intimacy.  My partner is pretending as if nothing has changed and I do not want to put any pressure on him to talk about how I feel for fear of upsetting him. When he was first diagnosed he did nothing but apologise to me and so I know he probably worries about the impact the cancer has had, and continues to have on our relationship.


I know many others are in far worse positions than me and I’m really conscious about appearing selfish, but I really am struggling to cope with the change in our relationship and any advice about how we can deal with the impact of Tamoxifen and the impending results from the BRCA test would be very very welcome.


Hi Gemini ,sorry you that your partners diagnosis has had such a big impact on you and your relationship.The Breast Cancer helpline has a service called someone like me which can put you in touch with someone in similar circumstances which may help you feel less alone in this.Your partner really needs to speak to his doctor about the impact of Tamoxifen on his quality ,there are many women on this forum who will testify to the fact that Tamoxifen can have a really big impact in many ways.Some people have stopped taking it as a result, some have been switched to an alternative,also some people have found that switching brands of Tamoxifen has helped.If you re post this in the going through treatment section under hormone therapy you may get some advice,also in the sex and relationships section of the website.Hope things improve.