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Electrochemotherapy treatment for male breast cancer

Jonathan Baker
Image caption Jonathan Baker discovered he had breast cancer in 2008

A Runcorn man who had breast cancer is facing a brighter future after having new chemotherapy treatment.

Jonathan Baker discovered a lump on his chest in early 2008 and despite having a mastectomy the cancer returned.

Searching the internet he discovered electrochemotherapy which opens pores with an electric field allowing much greater doses of anti-cancer drugs.

Doctors have said Mr Baker's cancer has now gone, apart from one small nodule which can be safely removed.

'Worst day'

About 300 men in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year compared with more than 45,000 cases for women.

The majority of male breast cancer cases are in men aged between 60 to 70.

Five days after scan results confirmed he had breast cancer, Mr Baker had a mastectomy.

"It probably was the worst day of my life," he said.

After this he hoped he would be clear of cancer but in summer 2010 he found several small lumps under his arm, the cancer had returned in the form of skin cancer.

'Extremely rare'

He found out about electrochemotherapy on the internet and was later treated at St George's Hospital in London.

His consultant Barry Powell, told BBC Inside Out North West: "The first thing about Jonathan is his case is extremely rare.

"For him electrochemotherapy is an ideal form to try and offer him what we call 'local control'.

"That is to make sure his disease on the chest is controlled and doesn't get out of hand."

The electric field, which lasts for less than a second, opens the pores in the cancer membrane which lets more of the anti-cancer drug enter the cells, considerably increasing the treatment's effectiveness.

The treatment, which left painful blisters on Mr Baker's skin while it was being carried out, seems to have been a success eradicating the majority of the cancer from his chest.

If the cancer returns then Mr Baker will be able to repeat the treatment.

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