‘Lees hij voor zij’ photo project

Asklepios is in de Griekse mythologie
de god van geneeskunde en genezing.

‘Lees hij voor zij’

100 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Netherlands every year. Many people don’t know that men can also be diagnosed with this ‘female disease’. Brochures and leaflets are aimed exclusively at women. Inattentive caregivers sometimes call out for a man with breast cancer as if though he’s female in the hospital waiting room

“What’s it like to suffer from a woman’s disease as a man?”

I asked myself this question when I worked as a project officer at the Breast Cancer Research Group (BOOG), where we conducted research on breast cancer in men. In addition to my position at BOOG, I was also a photographer and anthropologist and interested in how men experience this disease. Breast cancer is mainly associated with women. I decided to further explore this subject by means of a photo series and video interviews.

The first three men who immediately said yes were members of the ‘men with breast cancer’ expert group at the Dutch Breast Cancer Society. They were happy to pose for me, because they had completely committed themselves to getting more attention devoted to this subject. The other eight men registered with me in response to a letter they received via their doctor or nurse. All applied because they agreed there should be more publicity about men with breast cancer. Almost all men in their environment had experienced that people were ignorant or prejudiced.

I want to use my photo series and video interviews to give men with breast cancer a face.

Suzanne Reitsma

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