The most emotional episode of Newlyweds: The First Year so far this season showed Brandon Liberati sharing his struggles with gynecomastia, a condition in which men have enlarged breasts. Brandon had been embarrassed and ashamed throughout his life, but once he discovered lumps in his chest, he decided to finally go under the knife to remove the excess breast tissue, given his family history of breast cancer. He wanted to be free of worry and free of shame about his man boobs.
Fortunately, Brandon had the support of his husband Craig Ramsay to help him get through the difficult time. Bravo’s Daily Dish recently sat down with the couple to discuss the cancer scare, why they decided to open up about it on the show, and how Brandon’s health is doing today.
Here is a preview of the interview with Brandon and Craig
Why did you decide to share your surgery with the world?
Brandon Liberati: Well, first I didn’t want to share it. I don’t know if women really wrap their heads around how much shame there is for a guy with anything that’s related to breast issues. And even the word and because of who I am, there was a lot of shame.
So deciding to do that was when I found out the statistics of the mortality rate of men that have breast cancer because almost 100 percent of men die from it because they don’t get diagnosed. They all feel lumps. When they feel lumps, they feel them years before, and they ignore it. So I had an opportunity to just bring awareness. Do you know how many women were like, “I didn’t know men could get breast cancer”? Like, they had no clue. What I had done was exactly what Angelina Jolie did [a double mastectomy], but I didn’t get the implants. So I had fibrous lumps, and it was something that I had to take care of.
Craig Ramsay: This couldn’t wait for numerous reasons, health reasons, but also it is something that was affecting our relationship and then our marriage. His lack of confidence from [something] that can be fixed. I don’t think you would have actually went through with it, especially on camera, if it wasn’t for how comfortable Dr. [Joseph] Cruise and his nursing staff made it for you, because they helped you heal the shame and the hurt that you felt from having this.
Brandon: And going into this, you’re filming a show. I mean, you see everybody. Their best foot is forward. Makeup’s on, hair’s done, and I looked like sh**. And I was healing through the filming. There’s a lot of situations that people don’t realize. I’m sitting there in a compression vest with Spanx in my interviews that you can’t have the air on. It’s 800 degrees. So it was a very hard process. We don’t even go into that portion of it, but it was really hard, and it was super emotional, because I didn’t know if [Craig] could handle it. I’m serious. He can’t even take out a splinter. If there’s blood on me, he is out.
Craig: But something takes over you when your spouse is sick, and there’s no other option. I had to make sure that I was [on] top of my game.
Brandon: So that’s why we shared it. I’ve had a ton of boys that watch Bravo message after message. They’re like, “I found this. I think I have this.” So it’s interesting how when you make yourself vulnerable and share something just like Ro [Brann] did with her father. I think when you make yourself vulnerable, and you actually go to a place where you normally wouldn’t, it’s amazing that’s the place people get the most information and help.
Read the full interview here: Newlywed’s Brandon and Craig Interview on The Dish