Widow of Swanley Man Shares Heartbreaking Story of Rare Male Breast Cancer Battle

Swanley Widow Shares Story of Losing Husband to Rare Male Breast Cancer

At just 28 years old, Mathew Walton discovered a small lump on his chest. Assured by his doctor that it was nothing to worry about, he went about his life with his wife Jess by his side. But four years later, the couple’s world was turned upside down when they received the devastating news that the lump was actually male breast cancer. Mathew, one of only 370 men in the UK to be diagnosed with this condition each year, passed away at the age of 32.

Jess Walton, from Swanley, is now sharing her story in the hopes of raising awareness about the often overlooked issue of male breast cancer and the struggles faced by young people with cancer.

“He thought it was nothing but we went to the GP who told us it wouldn’t be anything bad because he was so young and a man,” Jess recalls. But after further tests and a biopsy, they were given the heartbreaking news that Mathew had breast cancer. “He was really upset and I was just in shock,” says Jess. “Going from being told not to worry to that was really difficult because we weren’t expecting it.”

The couple then faced the daunting task of informing their loved ones about the diagnosis. Jess remembers feeling embarrassed on behalf of her husband, as male breast cancer is so rare that many people are not aware it can even affect men.

Over the next six months, Mathew underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy. Jess explains that the recovery process for a man who has had a mastectomy is often more difficult than for a woman, as there is no breast tissue to aid in the healing process. On top of that, the couple had to juggle work and hospital visits, which took a toll on their physical and emotional well-being.

But in January 2018, they received some good news – Mathew’s cancer was in remission. The couple finally got married in October of that year. However, their happiness was short-lived as two years later, Mathew’s cancer returned and had spread to his lungs and spine. Despite undergoing more chemotherapy, Mathew tragically passed away in November 2021 due to complications from sepsis.

In the midst of her grief, Jess is determined to raise awareness about male breast cancer and cancer in young people. She is participating in the CoppaFeel trek in June, a 100km walk over five days in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. Her goal is to raise £2,250 for the breast cancer awareness charity. Jess hopes to honor her late husband’s memory and show that life can still be lived to the fullest even after facing such a difficult battle.

“It’s nice to keep his memory alive in a way and also show that you can still do things after you have been through so much,” says Jess. She urges others to support her in her fundraising efforts and help spread awareness about male breast cancer, a disease that claimed the life of her beloved husband far too soon.

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