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Topic: Podcast: Men Have Breasts, Too: Diagnosed With Male BC

Forum: Male Breast Cancer — For men who have been diagnosed or are at high risk.

Posted on: Nov 8, 2016 02:25PM

Moderators wrote:

Men Have Breasts, Too: Diagnosed With Male Breast Cancer, November 2, 2016

In August 2016, Stephen Sala found a small lump on the right side of his chest. His doctor thought it was a cyst, but scheduled an ultrasound to be sure. His ultrasound results were concerning, so he had a mammogram the same day, followed a needle biopsy about a week later. The results showed breast cancer. He was 41. He decided to have a bilateral mastectomy to reduce his risk of contralateral disease; pathology results showed that he had cancer in his left chest as well. As he went through diagnosis and treatment, Steve experienced a number of awkward situations. Almost all mammography offices are in women's health care centers, with no consideration for men. Forms asked when he had his last period, how many children he had given birth to, and if he was in menopause.

Listen to the podcast to hear Stephen talk about:

  • how he came to terms with a breast cancer diagnosis
  • his ideas on how the process can be made less clumsy for men
  • how he talked to his children about his diagnosis
  • how he found support
  • advice he would offer other men

Running time: 19:13

Listen now.
To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Posts 1 - 12 (12 total)

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Nov 14, 2016 12:31AM - edited Nov 14, 2016 01:31AM by Traveltext

Thanks for sharing your story Stephen, it resonates with me and the other men I know who have to deal with this disease. One day the pink charities will have to own up to their role is keeping the community unaware of male breast cancer. Meanwhile, as the pink dollars roll in, later diagnosis is leading to poorer prognosis for many men.




NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 7, 2017 07:53AM cliff wrote:

Absolutly! MEN GET BREAST CANCER TOO. I am getting tired of posting in womens sections here only to be told to go to the mens section this is for women. if the ladies truly wanted to save their men from a really lousy fate, why cant they check their guys? they are scheduled for mammograms, why not insist the doctors check their guys too? women are shown how to check themselves for breast cancer, why not use that knowledge to save the live of hubby? the earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to get rid of.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 7, 2017 02:53PM Traveltext wrote:

I post on BCO regularly on many threads and It's never been suggested that I confine myself to the men's section. I think most women now understand that male breast cancer is not a different disease, rather it's breast cancer in men and all the treatment, issues, worry, etc is identical between the genders. I also believe that men need to be responsible for their own health and should check themselves for all diseases, including breast cancer, particularly if they have a genetic predisposition to it.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 8, 2017 04:11PM cliff wrote:

in and out of womens clinics, not a sports illustrated in sight. got a lot of looks from gals there wondering what kind of big hairy thing this was in "their" clinic. the same thing about all the forms, but a bit of embarrassment is not too bad when you consider the consequences of not going. most of the gals were ok after I explained that I was there for tests for breast cancer, and men get it tool.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 8, 2017 07:36PM Mariangel43 wrote:

Guys, I am a woman but I agree with you. The best thing I heard after I was diagnosed with breast cancer is that it is not BRCA1 or 2 and my brother, my niece and nephews are not at risk.

I am sorry that you have to deal with clumsy situations. I am sorry that you have breast cancer. You should request to doctors develop forms and questionnaires designed for men or gender-free ones in which men or women select those alternatives that apply to them.

I always wear a pink cancer awareness pin to all places. If others ask I tell them that I am honoring my sister who died a year ago from breast cancer metastases. You could use a pin too if you don't mind wearing something pink or a lavender one that applies to all cancers. If others ask, you tell them that men get breast cancer too. A lavender T-shirt with the same message will get the same result.

Good luck to you and I hope you don't mind I passed by and commented.

Maria

Dx 5/4/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 9, 2017 12:19AM - edited Feb 9, 2017 12:21AM by Icietla

Cliff, I am so sorry you were treated that way. I assure you, most of us want this site to be a welcoming, safe, supportive discussions place for persons affected by breast cancer -- a true community of brothers and sisters. Your participation is very much wanted and welcome in any and all discussions on BCO in which you would care to participate.

Did you see -- the Moderators put a post on that thread in the Hormonal Therapy section for you.

My latest (Stage IVB) diagnosis is almost certainly of another distant primary type. To the best of my information and belief, I am still apparently what we call NED as to breast cancer, doubtless thanks to Letrozole. Dx 2/12/2016, ILC, Right, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/25/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 8/2018, Stage IV
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Feb 9, 2017 08:04AM - edited Feb 9, 2017 08:54AM by cliff

I am not putting down women in any way, I also know the embarrassment as it seems every doctor in a three state area wants to examine me in every way possible. and I know the worry when the doctor gets that look just before starting all those tests fortunately my surgeon is pretty good at it, and almost no pain afterword's. the drains? yes they are a nuisance for longer than needed, it seems. the worry starts after the surgery when you find out it is stage 4 after all, and look it up on the internet. then the weeks before the oncologist tells you what your treatment is going to be. I have been through that and more, fortunately with the support of a great wife and kids. Ladies, I respect you for your fight against breast cancer and would like to support you any way possible. were both in this together, and I HATE CANCER

if the questions that don't belong to you bother you, use a bit of humor to let them know with strange answers. such as,," when was your last period?" " now" makes them run around a bit.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 9, 2017 03:55PM Traveltext wrote:

Thanks for hanging in on BCO cliff and reporting on your treatment and how you feel about things. It's good that you have support at home, be sure to let them know you appreciate it. BCO is a very supportive community and, while there's not many men posting here, we all help each other. Being stage IV at diagnosis is very though and I hope your team can get on top of the bone mets asap. I have to add that most of the men I know with this disease were discovered at a later stage than women generally are. This is because there's little public awareness men get bc and often even little medical professional awareness), and no public screening, even for those guys with a genetic predisposition.

Keep us all posted with your progress.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 10, 2017 01:53AM Mariangel43 wrote:

Cliff, I like your humor and would like to read what you would write in a form with this question. LOL. One good answer would be "about a month ago when I was hanging out with my friends" or "I'll ask my wife". No, just kidding.

Now, I think you should help fellow guys. You could make a video of a male checking his own breast and commenting on what you are continuously exposed in service sites. We women get the information from other women's videos who have gone this journey before and we have a good idea of what we'll encounter. Physicians do not talk about severe side effects of chemo drugs or RT; they talk about of common side effects only. Also post what kind of questions you should be asked in a form.

It is so sad that men's cancer is found late and with a poorer prognosis I was lucky. I was reclassified from Stage III to Stage II because the only tumor I had decreased in size. I am a little bit curious: Why are you given tamoxifen and not an AI (aromatase inhibitor) if your tumors are ER+/PR+. Can you ask your MO if they are ineffective? These drugs worked quite well in me and others who have breast cancer.

Time to sleep. Take care, guys. And get inside of women's site and remind us that we better check husbands, boyfriends, and male family too. (I include my brother in my post MX check ups so he learns.)

Maria

Dx 5/4/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 10, 2017 02:30AM Traveltext wrote:

Nice comments Maria. Tamoxifen is the gold standard for ER+/HR+ men (nine out of ten bc men). If tamoxifen doesn't work (or stops working), AIs may be tried. I know guy who was started on Femara, four years later he went to stage IV and they switched him to tamoxifen.

Really looking forward to cliff's video. Meanwhile, check out Brett Miller's self-check video. He's the youngest guy I know to have got this disease: https://youtu.be/y8ssvNLGsR4


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Feb 10, 2017 08:09AM cliff wrote:

My tv video is on KAKE.com click on Kake on your side, then buddycheck10. my video is the one with the old fart beside the Christmas tree. the buddy check 10 is a series they have on to have people choose a "buddy" and call them on the tenth of each month to remind to check for breast cancer.

without a bit of humor, cancer can be real scarry.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 9, 2017 02:26PM cliff wrote:

here it is. http://www.kake.com/category/318916/buddy-check-10 the one with the Christmas tree is mine. this is my second interview with them, I cant find the first.

Dx 3/16/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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