It starts as a lump.
Maybe it will be gone. Probably not.
You have cancer – breast cancer.
But you are a man.
You didn’t know that breast cancer can form under the skin and get worse, but it’s possible. That was the case for Sean Salo, Matt Gomez, Paul Kirby, Gary Davis, and Arnaldo Silva.
About 1 in 100 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States are men. In other words, the risk is small, but far from zero. Approximately 2,300 men are diagnosed each year and 500 die. For comparison, about 255,000 women face a diagnosis of breast cancer in any year and 42,000 die.
On average, Dr. Ann Schott, Deputy Director of Clinical Research at the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center, sees about one man with breast cancer each year. Screening for it is atypical.
“Generally, men are less aware of breast cancer, and certainly we don’t do breast cancer screening for men,” says Shot, a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer for 25 years.
However, low awareness and prevalence do not mean that the disease cannot change the course of life.
Food for thought:Characterizing cancer as a “war” assumes it can win. Is it too simple?
“A little mystery”
Sean Salo felt a lump in his chest in early April. Residents of New York were largely unfamiliar with abrasions and tissue swelling under the skin. But this was different. It’s hard and immobile between the size of peas and the size of peanuts taken from the shell.
After an ultrasound and mammogram, his radiologist did not chop up the phrase “this looks like breast cancer to me.”
A biopsy in May confirmed the suspicion.
He chose to undergo bilateral mastectomy to get rid of stage 2 cancer and was later prescribed the estrogen blocker tamoxifen. The cancer had not yet spread to his lymph nodes. That is, he was eligible for a genetic test called Oncotype DX.
The test revealed that breast cancer is unlikely to come back. For Salo, that meant he could stick to tamoxifen and avoid postoperative chemotherapy.
Further genetic testing revealed that he had neither of the BRCA mutations (the most common hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2). His mother suffered from breast cancer and survived. His aunt had breast cancer, but it wasn’t.
“Good news for my daughters, but at the same time, it’s still a bit of a mystery to me,” he says. His genetic counselor suggested that additional tests be done, given the appearance of other cancers (stomach, brain, colon) in his family over time.
“It’s frustrating, but at the same time, if I provide this sample that I can test, I’ll find something else that allows others to have an early indicator of cancer predisposition. If it helps, it’s great, “he says.
He sought help from the Men’s Breast Cancer Union, a group based in the United States but with international membership. He connected with fellow patient Matt Gomez, who happened to have the same surgery a few days before him.
“Certainly during our healing, we could compare notes about what we experienced, what we felt, and what our emotional state was. “Salo says.
“Battle of its own”:Shannen Doherty talks about hair loss during cancer treatment
“Let’s never roll the dice again”
Boise Gomez was not familiar with cancer. His mother was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 40 at the age of 16. Flashing 20 years ago until mid-January, after training he noticed a small lump around the nipple on his chest. After about two weeks, there was no pain, but it became significantly larger. His former doctor in Arizona, where he lived, introduced him to a radiologist.
After ultrasound and mammograms, his radiologist said it looked like a cyst and warned against worrying about it. After explaining that pharmacist Gomez grew up in two months, doctors said he would give him six to nine months.
With Gomez’s pharmaceutical experience, he pondered medical research beyond your average Google search. But what really spoke to him was an anecdote of the people. All the stories sounded the same.
“They found a lump. Doctors told them not to worry, men’s breast cancer is rare, or they didn’t even think about men’s breast cancer, and they’re worried about it. I didn’t check it because I didn’t, “he says, but then they either got late-stage cancer or it spread.
He met a breast specialist who had a lump biopsy. It revealed that he had invasive ductal carcinoma. There, cancer cells develop in the duct.
He underwent a mastectomy and removed some lymph nodes. In the recovery process, the tube comes out of the chest and is drained and emptied all day long. He diverged about this with his new friend Salo. Like Salo, he didn’t need radiation or chemotherapy, but he started taking tamoxifen.
Salo and another male breast cancer patient helped him decide to take the drug after a bit of hesitation. “We were already that small percentage of getting it,” he says. “Don’t roll the dice again.”
Next to Gomez is breast reconstruction in the coming months. For now, the eerie pain remains. “There is something like ghost pain or tingling, or I feel very, very sick. It’s weird. That’s the main side effect I’ve noticed in surgery.”
He plans to have a tattoo on his chest to honor his experience. The Hulk suddenly becomes stronger when adversity or anger appears. Another quote from his favorite book “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman: “Because yesterday brought it, he was no longer afraid of what tomorrow might bring.”
Stage question:What do the different stages of breast cancer mean? Which is the most dangerous?
“Sweat may drip from your nose.”
72-year-old Paul Kirby was an avid trombone player who taught instrumental music in Paterson, NJ for over 26 years. Now he’s learning electric bass and playing bass drums in the New Jersey Wind Symphony, as the tremors deprived him of his ability to play the trombone.
The doctor accidentally discovered his breast cancer two years ago. He underwent open heart surgery to replace a defective aortic valve, and his cardiologist gave him a drug with a known side effect of breast enlargement. His left chest began to grow and felt soft. He underwent a mammogram and biopsy on the right side with the advice of a surgeon.
It turned out to be a small tumor. They performed a mastectomy and removed three lymph nodes.
In addition to the trombone, he enjoys working in the car and repairing things – a practical person. His attitude towards cancer was similar: how do you fix this?
He also started taking tamoxifen, but was worried about potential side effects after his wife’s aunt and a couple’s experienced stroke friend. Needless to say, he had the same family history.
The drug promotes fatigue and hot flashes.
“I could be sitting here and talking to you as well as I am now,” he says. “In another two minutes, sweat can drip from your nose and from your earlobe. Without it, you can fall into this cold. From hot flashes to coldsnaps on super soakers, we call them coldsnaps. If you’re out in freezing weather, it’s not cold enough to make you tremble. “
To this day, his remorse surprises him. Like a tsunami out of nowhere.
“When I wake up in the morning and go into the bathroom, I reach for the deodorant in the medicine rack and I see some of you disappearing. It may be a little intrusive, but You understand that it saved your life, it’s great. “
What’s happening with the treatment:New treatments are changing the lives of breast cancer patients. And it has greater potential in the future.
“My body responded well to the treatment.”
Gary Davis, 58, works in the garden and likes to plant trees and flowers.
On December 23, last year, his wife touched his chest and felt something that Davis himself was unaware of. He met the doctor immediately the next day on Christmas Eve. She thought it was breast cancer.
A biopsy revealed that it was not only breast cancer, but also metastasized to his bones. He started chemotherapy in late February or early March and started chemotherapy for about 6 months. He is currently taking oral medications and receiving occasional injections.
“My body responds well to treatment and they have decided that it is probably best to stop chemotherapy for now because of the long-term effects of chemotherapy on my body,” he said. say.
He thinks he is blessed. His friend had cancer starting from his bones and was feeling intolerable pain. Davis feels no pain at all.
His wife and two children were devastated after learning that his cancer had spread. But their devastation has become aggressive.
Davis’ wife led him by studying better diet and exercise habits and reaching out to other people receiving cancer treatment.
“I was very lucky”:Christiane Amanpour at the end of cancer chemotherapy treatment
“I couldn’t even see my daughter in the face.”
Naldo Silva, 71, was first diagnosed with breast cancer about 10 years ago. While taking a shower, he felt a lump in his right chest. He thought it was just an ingrown hair acne, so he let it go for a while. He went to his doctor because it got bigger. There’s nothing to worry about – or so he thought.
It’s getting bigger and bigger. His daughter suggested that he get a second opinion.
It was already stage 3. He resected 90% of the breast and lymph nodes from the right side. After that, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and genetic testing were done.
He tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. In other words, he may have inherited it to his children.
“Men’s breast cancer is more common, especially in families with BRCA2 mutations,” says Schott. “Any man who knows it is part of his medical history should know that those with his case or a family history of breast cancer in men have a higher incidence of breast cancer. . “
It’s good that he was inspected. His daughter, then 33, learned that she already had cancer. Since then she has hit it four times.
Silva and his daughter received chemotherapy together. He couldn’t even see her – and had a hard time telling this story without crying.
“I couldn’t even see my daughter’s face,” he says. “I was so depressed and guilty that I told her this.” His son tested positive for the gene, but fortunately he had no cancer. He takes tests on a regular basis.
A year later, Silva’s cancer returned to his left side and doctors removed his other breast. He still faces stigma when he takes off his shirt – even in the medical setting.
Silva has been in remission for 9 years and it is advisable to have a test as soon as she finds a lump.
“It’s not a death sentence,” he says. “If you catch it in time, it’s okay.”
“You should be checked”:Rachel Maddow of MSNBC undergoes skin cancer surgery
Signs of Breast Cancer in Men: Things to Watch Out For
I take the test.. If someone in your family has breast cancer, consider genetic testing. According to Schott, direct screening may not be worthwhile for breast cancer in men, given how rare it is.
Stay healthy. Older people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of breast cancer, as is liver disease.
Check your pecs. It’s easy to remember, but given social norms, it’s easier to say than men. “Women are conditioned to check for breast changes on a regular basis, and men are conditioned to check for testicular changes on a regular basis. For men, check your peck with your regimen. Only, “says Salo.
Don’t think it’s not you. “There are a lot of unusual things that happen to people, and you are very likely to be that small percentage,” says Gomez. “If you are, you should be at the forefront of it. By catching it early, I have had surgery and then take this oral drug for radiation, chemotherapy, more surgery, etc. It ’s worse because you only have to take it. ”
“We can hire”:Shannen Doherty defends people with cancer at work
Men raise awareness.Here are the signs
Source link Men raise awareness.Here are the signs