October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Should We Be Personally Concerned?

Do you worry about breast cancer?  When it comes to cancer, I think most of us worry about the prostate, but as we all know, cancer is unpredictable. 

My father is a prostate cancer survivor, grandfather had colon cancer, so those are what are on my radar as I get older.  But what about breast cancer?  It happens in men but we don't hear much about it. We aren't educated about breast cancer as much as women.  We're told to touch our testicles often, which we don't have an issue with, but we are never told to check our chests for abnormalities.  What are our odds?


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while the vast majority of those diagnosed with breast cancer are female, it can also be a health risk for guys.

About 1% of breast cancer diagnoses are men, which may not seem like a lot, but it amounts to about 2,000 men every year and approximately 440 deaths. 

Just like women, it’s important for men to also check regularly for a mass in their chests. As with all cancers, early detection is key.  (Find out Why Some People Ignore Their Cancer Symptoms.)

For further proof that male breast cancer isn’t all that uncommon, here are [some] famous guys, from actors to rock stars to politicians, who were diagnosed with (and sometimes beat) breast cancer.

Richard Roundtree

The actor best known for playing the eponymous role in 1971’s Shaft— the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks—was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993.

“I thought he was questioning my manhood,” he wrote in an essay for Essence in 2009, sharing the day his doctor first told him he had breast cancer. “Women die from this, not men. How could I possibly have that?”

Did He Survive? Yes. After a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.

Rod Roddy

The iconic game show announcer, whose jovial voice greeted contestants to “Come on down!” for 17 years on The Price is Right, suffered from both colon cancer and male breast cancer.  

Did He Survive? No. After a mastectomy in 2002, he lost his battle the following year.  


Edward Brooke

In 1966, Edward Brooke became the first African-American elected to the Senate. In September of 2002, Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer.

He originally assumed that the pain he was feeling, just under his right nipple, was a pulled muscle from gardening. 

Did He Survive? Yes. He underwent a double mastectomy, and remained cancer free until his death in January 2015 at age 95. 


Peter Criss

“You don’t need boobs to get breast cancer,” the KISS drummer told Fox News in 2014.  

The legendary musician, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 (along with the rest of KISS), found a lump in his left breast after a workout in 2007.

Did He Survive? Yes. Since his successful surgery, Criss has been an outspoken advocate for male breast cancer awareness.


Ernie Green

Ernie Green, a fullback with the Cleveland Browns from 1962 to 1968, discovered a lump in his chest in 2005, but was told not to worry by a doctor, due to the rarity of male breast cancer.

Green got a second opinion, and a mammogram and biopsy revealed that it was indeed cancer. 

Did He Survive? Yes. He received a mastectomy, as well as eight sessions of chemotherapy, and he has been cancer-free since 2006.  


Montel Williams

In 2012, talk show host and television personality Montel Williams appeared on the Dr. Oz show to talk about his emotional eating, which began after a very traumatic event when he was 19.  

While serving as a U.S. Marine, he was diagnosed with breast cancer and received a double mastectomy. Only later was it discovered that he simply had a torn pectoral muscle and the entire surgery was completely unnecessary.

Did He Survive? Yes. And despite being “butchered” by his surgeons (his word), he re-discovered his self-esteem with weightlifting. – menshealth.com


George Lucas

Star Wars Director George Lucas is a reported breast cancer survivor, although he has never publicly spoken about it.


Tucker l. Melancon

Federal Judge Tucker Melancon got the cancer diagnosis in 2003. Despite chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, the cancer returned in 2006. He later turned to a raw food diet to help in his fight against the disease. – hiphopwired.com


Do you worry about breast cancer? 

Do you know any men that have fought breast cancer?

Do we have a lack of well known survivors since breast cancer could be considered more of a feminine disease and there is a negative stigma with it for men?


Thanks menshealth.com for the original content.

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