Women Aren’t the Only Ones
The evidence is indisputable. Physicians and cancer survivors unanimously repeat this warning, “Regardless of your gender, don’t delay getting diagnosed!”
By Elissa J. Tivona
Don P 17 ye osselt, w ho p ars a ro s his d octor a genera udly rep or t l man when a lum ager w s only mi ss it p in his b h the Wa ing 5.5 s reast ic k d ter D ays bec am is e irri trict, con in tacte tated d .
Health advocates urge men, along with women, to heed this lifesaving breast cancer advice because the most important factor to increase odds of recovery is timely diagnosis and treatment. If you detect a hard lump, frequently in the center of the breast near the nipple, or if the nipple itself changes in appearance, seek your doctor’s advice as soon as possible. Don Posselt did just that and it saved his life. Don, who proudly reports only missing 5.5 sick days in 17 years as a general manager with the Water District, contacted his doctor when a lump in his breast became irritated. He was immediately referred for a biopsy. The result came back: malignant tumor stage I, bordering on stage II. According to Miho Scott, MD, a
medical oncologist with UCHealth in Fort Collins, male breast cancer cases in the United States and the United Kingdom account for between .5% and 1% of all breast cancer annually. However, the outcome of the disease in men can be less favorable than in women, mainly for one reason. “Unfortunately male breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at more advanced stages than women,” explains Farrah Datko MD, also a breast cancer medical oncologist at UCHealth. Datko continues, “The most common stages at diagnosis for women in the United States are stage I and II, largely due to mammogram screening and awareness campaigns. Many men are diagnosed at stage III or IV, because many men do
not report symptoms at first.” Yet oncologists agree that serious morbidity from male breast cancer can be avoided! According to Datko, “Male breast cancer is curable when diagnosed early, before it has time to spread.” Once the cancer reaches stage IV and malignant cells have spread to other areas of the body, although treatable, it is no longer considered curable. Male breast cancer can occur at any age, although it is most common in men in their 60s and 70s. Posselt was 72 at the time of his diagnosis. Don says, “I took it in stride to have a double mastectomy because the diagnosis was that [the cancer] was relatively small… and the prognosis was that the operation could totally stop cancer,” without the need STYLEMEDIA.COM