The Lump is A gynecologist’s journey with Male Breast Cancer. Written by Alan Johns, MD.
Many people are not aware that breast cancer does not only affect women, it is something that males can get as well. (Which is why all those “breast cancer awareness” memes going around Facebook telling women to “keep it a secret from the men!” drive me absolutely bonkers. For more than just the fact that it can affect men… but that posting to your facebook is doing nothing to help find a cure!)
Dr. Johns went in to medical school in an effort to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War. He ended up enjoying surgery and decided to become a gynecologist. The beginning of the book tells of his journey in to med school and how he met his wife and just giving you some background on him and his family. It then goes in to how he noticed that one of his nipples was inverted one day, and thought that could mean breast cancer but waited 3 months before going to see any specialists about it. An interesting aspect of the story is how Dr. Johns said he would often reprimand his patients for waiting so long to contact HIM about a problem – and there he was doing the same thing. He was beginning to see things from a different perspective, which in turn helped him with his patients.
Another time he saw things from a different perspective was when he got his lump biopsied. He used to tell his patients that it would be “just a little pinch”, but was near tears when he had to have it done himself.
The book also goes through his surgery and treatment afterwards and explains how he felt nausea afterwards (even though he was convinced he’d be find and didn’t take any anti nausea medications), how he found out that peanut butter and crackers were great for helping with his nausea and how he took medication that made him get hot flashes. (Another thing that made him realize what his patients were going through!)
With all his new experiences, Dr Johns decided to open a Breast Center – named after a good friend who helped him deal with his breast cancer – Joan Katz. (Donate Here)
I really enjoyed reading the book and getting a humorous male perspective on what it is like to have breast cancer. There are 22 chapters and it is a pretty easy read, but very interesting and informative as well.
About the Book
Most men have midlife crises. Most men don’t have them in the form of a masectomy.
As a gynecologist and surgeon in the prime of his life, Alan Johns had a blossoming medical practice, a growing family, and what he believed to be the maximum amount of empathy for his female patients; until suddenly he found himself on the other side of the telephone, receiving a diagnosis of male breast cancer.
This startling discovery leads Johns on an unusual journey through his own mastectomy, chemotherapy, mammograms, and hot flashes — and experience both challenging and humorous that forces him to reexamine his profession from his patients perspective. With a keen eye for professional detail, a playful sense of humor, and many atypical insights, Johns recounts his childhood, education, and the events that molded his surgical career– and the invaluable lessons in empathy and medicine cancer had in store.
With a rare dual perspective as both male gynecologist and breast cancer patient, Johns offers an illuminating story and a fascinating look at his newfound philosophy of healing for anyone encountering a life-changing diagnosis.
About the Author
Alan Johns, MD, spent his childhood learning to handle butcher knives in his dad’s small-town grocery store. After a little further training in college, medical school, and residency, he became a gynecologist and surgeon. He has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as chapters in surgical text books. He has lectured on surgical topics around the world and performed over 8,500 surgical procedures. He practices medicine in Fort Worth, TX, where he lives with Jenny, his wife of forty-one years. The Lump is his first stab at non-medical writing.
I was sent an additional copy of “The Lump” to give away to one of my readers! The Giveaway will end October 31 at 12:01 AM EST. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to their winning email with their address, or an alternate winner will be chosen.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to read & review as well as a second copy of the book to give away to one of my readers. I was not asked to write a favorable review and all thoughts & opinions are my own.