Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Awareness TRULY Saves Lives- “Yes, Men Get Breast Cancer too”

Written by: Darleen Garza / TheRightWriters editorial staff

Ten years ago, if you inquired about male breast cancer at your annual physical, most doctors would likely dismiss your fears by responding about “how incredibly RARE, or improbable it was to contract this”.  This lack of public information is a common testimony from many male breast cancer survivors- the same dilemma that is now recognized as a main contributor to the expansion of this silent epidemic.

The term “RARE” is often misleading and alluding to something reversible and of little concern. When it comes to any health disorder, the limited numbers of cases showing are only the ones reported but are often skewed due to the ‘real’ count that would constitute a baseline- from the individuals that have not come forward to be counted.  According to the CDC, for any disease to capture EPIDEMIC proportions, it must “rises above the expected level, or baseline… where there is a [sudden] increase in the number of cases in that population in that area.”


Survivor Michael Singer (L) gives appreciation to Mathew Knowles (R) at
Dr. Oz show for going public with his breast cancer- bringing global
awareness & advocacy
Recent data reflecting actual cases about male breast cancer has finally reached the tipping point in the visibility scale as more news coverage from advocacy groups and victims finally ‘going public’ have filled the media.  Thanks to survivors like Mathew Knowles (music producer and father of Beyoncé) who elected to publicize his breast cancer significantly contributed to public awareness, identifying this issue as a serious threat to public health. 

“One of our main objectives at the Male Breast Cancer Coalition is to publish all survivor stories to alert the men at large that this is not a cancer to ignore… it’s not so RARE or IMPOSSIBLE to contact,” states Cheri Ambrose, president. “Learning about Mr. Knowles’ story from the newspapers and Good Morning America, and then sharing airtime with him at Dr. Oz was such a powerful sign of support to our advocacy mission because he elected to use his own story and his celebrity to get people to pay attention. This is the kind of generosity that can truly save a lot of lives just on pure awareness alone!” (See: Dr. Oz episode w/ Mathew Knowles interview)

In an October interview with the American Heart Association News, Mathew Knowles shared his new mission of advocacy and awareness hoping to save more lives from a disease that has now captured headlines as a global health alert. He detailed his rare gene mutation called BRCA2 as what the medical community identifies as the main cause for this cancer and possibly others. Sharing the entire road of discovering the first symptoms to having undergone a mastectomy on his right breast, Mr. Knowles has forged a national commitment to speaking out about breast cancer in men.   "My opportunity is to help people have awareness of the BRCA gene (mutation) and of male breast cancer…things happens for a reason. I'm grateful for this opportunity to save myself, hopefully save my family and hopefully impact the world in an extremely positive way."

The First Responders Cancer Resource was established in 2017 by a partnership between 9/11 survivors and medical experts in conventional and advanced cancer care. Their flagship catch-phrase “GET CHECKED NOW!” was partly designed for the many potential cancer targets in the firefighter community who needs to take a more proactive stance at annual exams and awareness about how cancer truly performs. Ms. Ambrose and the many ambassadors of MBCC adopted this tagline because of a similar dilemma among men who are either slow to act when it comes to finding anomalies like lumps on the chest area.  

Click to enlarge and print
“By now, we all know that dealing with cancer has everything to do with TIME… the sooner you detect it, the better the likelihood of reversing the problem,” states cancer imaging expert Dr. Robert Bard. “Where women have been conditioned to do self-exams regularly, finding irregularities (like lumps under the nipple or abnormal discharge) are not often part of a man’s health regimen.  Meanwhile, the medical community has a defined set of factors that help identify an increase in risks for breast cancer including age (60+), exposure to estrogen, obesity and liver diseases as this increases female hormones in men. The good news is that technologically, we have much more than the conventional mammograms… the cancer imaging community is equipped with new innovations such as the high-speed Advanced 3D Ultrasound that’s far more accurate and completely comfortable especially for men.”

Where the stigma of men having breasts and getting mammograms often sits awkwardly with the typical male ego, more and more victims are now sharing their stories at the MBCC website (and throughout mainstream media) with the hopes of waking up the men to GET CHECKED and accept this disease a major reality.  According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 800 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime… and an estimated 500 men will die of breast cancer this year. From a recent interview, Dr. Stephen Chagares (breast surgeon) detailed how Male Breast Cancer is often identified and points to early detection for the best chance at survival.  “It’s either spotting a mass somewhere in the chest area or a strange discharge or a bloody nipple drainage… it’s better if you find these symptoms at an early enough stage but unfortunately it becomes actual breast cancer because they’re not identified until longer down the road.”



Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The materials provided on this website are copyrighted and the intellectual property of the publishers/producers (The NY Cancer Resource Alliance/IntermediaWorx inc. and Bard Diagnostic Research & Educational Programs). It is provided publicly strictly for informational purposes within non-commercial use and not for purposes of resale, distribution, public display or performance. Unless otherwise indicated on this web based page, sharing, re-posting, re-publishing of this work is strictly prohibited without due permission from the publishers.  Also, certain content may be licensed from third-parties. The licenses for some of this Content may contain additional terms. When such Content licenses contain additional terms, we will make these terms available to you on those pages (which his incorporated herein by reference).The publishers/producers of this site and its contents such as videos, graphics, text, and other materials published are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, please always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health provider. Do not postpone or disregard any professional medical advice over something you may have seen or read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately.  This website does not support, endorse or recommend any specific products, tests, physicians, procedures, treatment opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Referencing any content or information seen or published in this website or shared by other visitors of this website is solely at your own risk. The publishers/producers of this Internet web site reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, disable access to, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, all or any part of this Internet web site or any information contained thereon without liability or notice to you.