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In April of 2003, taking an unusual shower (I'm a tub bather), my fingertips found a lump in my right breast. I reported it to my doctor who said that lots of older men have gynecomastia, which often feels like a lump, and not to worry about it. Generally, "men don't get breast cancer."
I asked to come in and have him evaluate it. He felt that it was needless, but I persisted and he gave in. On feeling the lump himself, he still thought it was "the g word," but agreed to send me for a mammogram. When the mammogram showed a partially obscured mass, both he and the radiologist thought it was most likely nothing about which to be concerned. I was still concerned and so an 'ultrasound' was ordered.
The ultrasound showed a suspicious, apparently self contained, intra-ductal mass of less than one centimeter. The only way -- I was told -- to be certain was to have a biopsy. It was not mid-June. This was arranged and one breast, thirteen lymph-nodes later, it was confirmed that I had had, indeed, breast cancer. Since it was all self-contained, I needed no chemo or radiation. I've had regular checkups and have just passed the five year mark and shifted to one year recalls. [When she first saw me after the surgery, my oncologist said that in her sixteen years of practice, I was about the fifth man!]
When I go swimming, etc., I go "topless" and, when asked, tell all the guys: "Yes! Guys can get breast cancer. Practice breast self-examination; your significant other can show you how. Share any suspicious results with your doctor. . . and don't take "No" for an answer!
You can purchase 100 Inspiring Stories From The Breast Cancer Site for your Kindle. Makes a great gift too!
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