Former marine warns men of breast cancer risk

Earle Ryan

Earle Ryan

First published in News

A FORMER Royal Marine Commando who discovered he had breast cancer has warned other men to be on their guard.

Earle Ryan, who had also twice beaten bladder cancer, discovered a lump little more than the size of a frozen pea in his left breast.

“I had already survived cancer twice so I had no fear,” said Earle, now 76.

Earle, from Beechwood in Runcorn, had a mastectomy after discovering the lump and has now fully recovered.

But as part of the Runcorn and Widnes World’s Healthy Halton campaign, the retired policeman, who was in the force for 30 years said he wanted to warn other men that breast cancer was a real risk to them.

“If I can save a life by sharing my story then it will be worth it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I have done in my life, cancer doesn’t take out occupations it takes out anybody.”

Earle, who is a widower, served as a commando and is now part of the Veterans’ National Defence Medal Campaign, which is fighting for recognition for thousands of ex-servicemen and women.

After completing his service he joined the police and served for 30 years before retiring in 1990.

It was then, as he underwent a routine health check ahead of applying for a job with Littlewoods Pools, that doctors first discovered traces of blood in his urine.

He had bladder cancer and went into treatment. Seventeen years later the cancer returned, but once again he defeated it.

When he discovered a lump in his breast in 2004 he stayed positive and always believed he would pull through.

Earle, now a grandfather, said that being aware of the dangers – and not being afraid to go for a checkup – were vital in detecting cancer and defeating the disease.

“The earlier you catch cancer the more chance you have surviving,” he said. “Men will buy a new car and spend money having it serviced, but they don’t look after their own bodies.

“If you are concerned then go and see a doctor and get rid of the anxiety. There is all the support you need out there and I have nothing but praise for the doctors who have treated me and the NHS.”

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