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Newly Diagnosed with Male Breast Cancer

I am 55-year-old white male married 35 years with 2 children and 2 grandchildren. One day in September 2019, I was in the shower shaving and felt something on my left breast right below my areola.

When I got out, I asked my wife to feel this and give me her opinion. After she felt it, she said I had a lump and need to go to my doctor. I made an appointment and went to visit him for a check which he said probably just a lipoma or fat deposit and said he would order an ultrasound. I left his office and went across the street to the imaging center where they told me he filled out the paper wrong and I would have to go back and get it changed.

Irritated and just feeling uneasy I called my wife’s breast Dr. who happens to be one of the founders of The Rose in Houston, TX. She made an appointment for me on the 27th of September at her office and she did a thorough exam of my breasts and lymph nodes. She said I needed a mammogram and ultrasound and got me into the Rose on October 3rd. Had my tests and she was there and also looked at ultrasound onsite and said I needed a biopsy which was scheduled for October 8th. Now I waited the longest 3 days ever and on the 11th of October her receptionist called me and asked me to come in that day at 2pm, now I’m scared and worried.

My wife and I went to meet with the doctor and she informed me I had invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2 (stage 1) breast cancer. Told us that her people were going to take care of us and set us up with a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center and they did. 3 hours later they were calling me to schedule appointment the following week with oncology. We met the 18th of October where I had another thorough exam and more tests were ordered including genetic, mammogram, ultrasound, X-ray and blood tests. On the 23rd of October which was this past Wednesday during my ultrasound they noticed 3 lymph nodes that were not right and immediately conducted a needle biopsy of them. The following day the oncologist called me to inform me that all 3 where normal and so far, it looks as if the cancer is still just in the breast tissue.

On October 30th and 31st I will have genetic consultation and a visit with the surgeon. With all this I have always been a big supporter of breast cancer awareness for the Rose and Susan G Komen but have recently for HIS Breast Cancer Awareness and all the useful information about male breast cancer. I ordered awareness lapel pins and bracelets from HIS and have begun informing my coworkers about the possibility of breast cancer in men and my recent discovery on my breast.

On another note my father’s 2 sisters had breast cancer and 2 of his brothers had prostate and colon cancer. My mom’s sister had breast cancer as well, so all of my siblings and kids and grandchildren are getting tested for gene mutations.

It’s hard to get up in front of 100 plus coworkers and tell them your most private stuff but I felt I must make men aware of male breast cancer. Since I started talking about it in the plant where I work, 2 employees have asked for my doctor's number because they felt something. I know this is long, but I really just wanted to say thanks and let’s try and make more men aware.

Charlie M.

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