CHARITY worker Bobby Smith has battled cancer in his breast, eye and ear drum.
The dad-of-four had a breast removed after being diagnosed with the disease.
Bobby, of Ryhope, also had a tumour in one of his eyes and cancer cells removed from his ear drum.
Now, he wants to raise awareness of cancer among Wearside men and is urging them not to be bashful about making a doctor’s appointment if they feel something is wrong.
Bobby, 60, said: “I had a lump on my chest which was when I realised I had a problem.
“At first even my doctors were puzzled and the locum said they wanted to do a biopsy.
“Then they said ‘I’m sorry, you have cancer’.”
Bobby, who is married to Elizabeth, 60, had treatment at University Hospital of North Durham.
Although he has not been given the all clear, Bobby looks to be on the road to recovery.
Now, Bobby – dad to Tracey, 39, Robert, 37, Lisa, 36, and Michelle, 34 – wants to spread the word about identifying
cancer early so that lives are saved.
“I would like to see more people go and get themselves checked out,” he said.
“I have lost two good friends who have had cancer.
“They both went to see a doctor but it was too late.
“I’d like to warn people, “go if you have a problem and get it seen to’.”
Bobby says the treatment he’s had from the University Hospital of North Durham “is fantastic”.
He added: “All the staff are brilliant, even if most of them are Newcastle fans.”
Former miner Bobby, who was first diagnosed in 2003, also said that life doesn’t have to slow down hugely for those dealing with cancer.
“I do some work for Oxfam which I enjoy,” he said.
“I also play darts and dominoes quite a bit and I do a bit of gardening as well.”
ABOUT 240 men suffer from breast cancer in the UK every year.
Symptoms include retraction, ulceration or discharge in the nipple.
Other problems can include breast pain, bone pain and swelling of the glands.
Nonnie Crawford, public health cancer lead for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, said: “It is essential to contact your doctor if you notice a lump in your breast or if you have symptoms that affect your nipples such as retraction, ulceration or discharge.
“While symptoms such as these are often not the result of male breast cancer they must be investigated further.
“Seeking help from your doctor if you have unexplained symptoms or suspect cancer is the crucial first step in getting a speedy diagnosis for the disease.”