It’s not just women who should be concerned.
If the pink ribbons are any indication, most people consider breast cancer strictly a women’s health issue. For the most part, it is, occurring nearly 100 times more often in women than in men, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
That being said, breast cancer still affects men. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 2,470 new cases of breast cancer for men in 2017, and that number has been fairly stable for 30 years.
“Realizing that you’ve just developed a disease that’s conventionally associated with women may terrify you,” says Mark, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 55.
Mark believes it’s natural to be confused and left with questions. “‘What do I do? Why did I develop this disease?’” The real question Mark says you should be asking is, “What can I do for myself?”
The answer: Get checked. “Men should not die of breast cancer out of ignorance,” says Mark.
Although men’s chests appear mostly flat, they do contain breast tissue, which can undergo cancerous changes, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s simply less common because the breast duct cells are less developed.
The lower prevalence of breast cancer in men can pose a risk, however: not catching the tumor.
When it comes to breast cancer detection, Mark wants men to shake off their “macho” tendencies: “It limits their ability to accept that they can develop any disease, let alone one associated with women.”
A very special thanks to Susan G. Komen Greater New York City.
00:00.000 --> 00:03.212
00:03.212 --> 00:08.235
Men should not die from breast
cancer out of ignorance.
00:08.235 --> 00:14.556
00:14.556 --> 00:19.447
To this very day,
I often hear women say I didn't know
00:19.447 --> 00:22.610
men could develop breast cancer.
00:23.890 --> 00:27.580
My three sons with me having
breast cancer and I never,
00:27.580 --> 00:29.700
I'm the first one in my family.
00:29.700 --> 00:32.880
I want them to get the bracket testing and
men are not covered.
00:32.880 --> 00:33.830
You have to pay for
00:33.830 --> 00:37.849
it, which makes no sense to me
because my sons have daughters.
00:38.950 --> 00:42.840
So what's gonna happen in the future?
00:42.840 --> 00:44.370
Their father can't be tested.
00:44.370 --> 00:45.880
The mothers don't have the history.
00:47.040 --> 00:48.760
But the fathers have the history.
00:48.760 --> 00:51.700
And yet, they have to pay for it,
which is something that has to be changed.
00:52.730 --> 00:53.400
Has to be changed.
00:53.400 --> 00:54.280
It's very expensive.
00:56.510 --> 01:01.290
Realizing that you've just developed
a disease that is conventionally
01:01.290 --> 01:05.450
associated with women may terrify you.
01:06.500 --> 01:08.110
What do I do?
01:08.110 --> 01:11.570
Why did I develop this disease?
01:11.570 --> 01:17.370
The first answer is what can I do for
01:17.370 --> 01:24.770
Unhappily men suffer from
an anomaly in their genome.
01:24.770 --> 01:25.690
It's a mutation.
01:26.780 --> 01:28.980
It's called the macho gene.
01:28.980 --> 01:34.420
And it happens to most men,
and it limits their ability to
01:34.420 --> 01:42.130
accept that they can develop any disease,
let alone one associated with women.
01:42.130 --> 01:47.350
So men, you've got to conquer that
macho gene and have it work for
01:47.350 --> 01:51.580
you, not against you.
01:51.580 --> 01:55.257
My brothers, my machos,
01:56.733 --> 02:03.953
As big as you make these chests,
they're breasts, get it checked.
02:03.953 --> 02:09.825
It does not, and will never make you
less of a man if you say you've had
02:09.825 --> 02:14.889
you'll be helping the male population and
02:14.889 --> 02:17.945
making them aware of what you have.
02:17.945 --> 02:23.189
Risk factors. Frisco, TX: National Breast Cancer Foundation. (Accessed on October 3, 2017 at http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-risk-factors.)
What are the key statistics about breast cancer in men? Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2017. (Accessed on October 3, 2017 at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer-in-men/about/key-statistics.html.)
What is breast cancer in men? Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2016. (Accessed on September 29, 2017 at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer-in-men/about/what-is-breast-cancer-in-men.html.)