A 61-year-old dad with five kids who was diagnosed with breast cancer is telling other men there is “no need to be embarrassed”.

Doug Harper from Plumstead was diagnosed with breast cancer three days before he turned 50 in 2012.

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He is determined to break the stigma surrounding male breast cancer with a mission to ensure that more people understand that breast cancer can affect anyone, regardless of gender, and to encourage early detection for better survival rates.

Harper said: "All my life I've been scared of having cancer.

"Now, I'm always banging on about it.

“You need to know your body to catch it early.

"Men have breast tissue too.

“There's no need to be embarrassed about checking."

One of 400 men are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK, according to Breast Cancer now.

This October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Asda, Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! are urging customers to become comfortable with checking their bodies, specifically breasts, pecs, and chests and Harper could not be more aligned with the cause.

Doug explained: "I'd like as many people to know as possible that men can get breast cancer.

"The charity partnership with Asda Tickled Pink is crucial.

“It's getting the message out there.

“When I was diagnosed, there was no support for men.

“There was just no visibility of male breast cancer."

Influenced by his own experience, Doug initiated the Virtual Meet Up with Dr Kerry Quincey for any man who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer, transforming a moment of adversity into a dedicated support network.

They engage in monthly online meetings where they "just chat."

Doug's project also influenced the EastEnders storyline on male breast cancer, demonstrating the success of his efforts to raise awareness.

He also writes a blog and has set up an online forum.

Two years ago, with assistance from Asda Tickled Pink charity partner Breast Cancer Now, the forum went live giving men a safe space to seek comfort and communication.

Doug said: “I love helping people and helping to raise awareness.

“Meeting all these people has been brilliant!

“I've made friends for life,” added Harper, who continues to battle the disease.

Tickled Pink's campaign this month features Doug and four others, each with unique breast cancer experiences, from their stories to photos.

The campaign makes waves in raising awareness and funds for breast cancer charities.