These figures may seem small and not worth worrying about. Until you know one person who it has affected. That one suddenly has the weight of a million.
I had the honor of participating in a small focus group at one of NYC's Continuum Group hospitals yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me how many interesting stories there are to be told. And how many wonderful people I've met who have shared them.
One in particular stands out. A beautiful woman, 33 y.o., mother of three, told her story. Last year, her father felt something in his chest. He saw a number of doctors who shrugged it off as a growth or something not worthy of investigating further. The lump grew larger and he got more concerned, which lead to more dr. visits. He was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer. This coupled with his sister having died of breast cancer just a couple of years prior, convinced the young woman in the group, to get tested for the BRCA gene. She not only tested positive for it, she discovered that she too had breast cancer.
Can you imagine a father and daughter scheduling visits to the doctor together? How about surgery? How about getting chemo treatments together? Sure, it's possible, but you don't hear about this often. Certainly this was a first time for me.
I'm happy to report that the two patients are fairing well right now. The woman's 15 year old son has been tested for the BRCA gene, which in fact came back positive. He has not been diagnosed w/BC but needless to say, he will be monitored carefully.
We all have so many health concerns these days. Mad cows, chickens on roids, brain cell killing phones, blah blah blah... everything seems to cause cancer these days and it can get overwhelming. That being said, I'm not writing about the small statistic of BC in males to scare the bejezus out of anyone, but rather just to raise awareness and encourage you guys out there to "check yourself out" too.
Speaking of which, after sharing the story above with a friend today, she shared a story that her friend told her. His girlfriend's 15 year old son was in health class and the topic was testicular cancer. The teacher explained the proper way of "checking oneself." Sure enough, this smart teenage boy went home and "did his homework." (No jokes here, this is serious stuff.) Lo and behold, he felt something and yep, you guessed it... he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. This exam saved him! Yes, he might've caught it further down the road, but he thankfully took care of it in its early stage.
Again, don't want to be the voice of gloom and doom.......... Just want to get the message out to you guys and hope you pass it on to others.
In the meantime I'm feeling great and looking forward to spring arriving for real.