October 26, 2017

By Michelle B.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.  Breast Cancer is not a Women’s Only Club – Men Have Breasts Too.  My brother lost his 10 year battle with breast cancer this past March 2017.  I was his caregiver for the last 3 years of his fight.  His journey started with changes to his nipple that had begun to turn inward.  My brother thought it was just part of the aging process but decided to have it checked out by his primary doctor.  Mammogram, biopsy and blood tests determined that he was in stage III breast cancer.  As years passed,  the cancer progressed to stage IV and spread to his bone, brain, liver and lungs.  People who did not know him would never have thought that  he was terminally ill.  His attitude remained positive and he continually praised the care given by the oncology staff for his quality of life.

Male breast cancer is most common in older men, though it can occur at any age. Men diagnosed with male breast cancer at an early stage have a good chance for a cure. Still, many men delay seeing their doctors if they notice one of the usual signs or symptoms, such as a breast lump.  Cancer has no respect of person; Spread the word about mammograms and raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.