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Male breast cancer survivor speaks out about being aware of your body

Updated: Thursday, October 31 2013, 06:35 PM CDT
Reported by Jesse Knutson:

LEMOYNE -- During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many people try to raise awareness for women with breast cancer. But what many people don’t know is that men can get breast cancer as well.

CBS 21 spoke to a local man who survived breast cancer and hopes that his story can help save lives.

Grant Lee is a Navy Veteran who fought in Normandy, a lover of boats, and a man who loves to dance, but one day about ten years ago, his whole life changed.

“I was taking a shower one day and looked in the mirror and my nipple was black,” explained Lee.

Grant went to the doctor immediately, knowing something was wrong, but he never expected the doctor would say these words.

“You have cancer, breast cancer,” Lee recalled the words from his doctor.

Breast cancer, the most common cancer among women.

“I had no idea that a man could get breast cancer,” Lee continued.

And most people don’t, but about 2400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

“For every hundred women, there’s one male diagnosed with breast cancer,” explained Dr. Lisa Torp, Breast Cancer Surgeon with PinnacleHealth.

Doctor Torp took care of Grant when he needed surgery for his breast cancer.

“The problem with male breast cancer is that sometimes it’s diagnosed in the more advanced stages because the level of awareness is not there,” Torp demonstrated.

Luckily, Grant’s cancer was caught before it invaded the rest of his body and Dr. Torp says it’s thanks to him being aware of his body.

“If they have noticed changes in the way that their breasts or chest wall looks, indentations, changes in the skin, ulcerations that don’t heal or lumps, or it could even be a painless lump, they should have it evaluated by a physician,” advised Dr. Torp.

Common risk factors for breast cancer in men are obesity, medical conditions involving testicular disease, liver disease, and genetics.

“A family history of breast cancer affects both males and females, it puts them all at risk,” the Doctor added.

While none of Grant’s relatives had cancer, he warns that it can affect anyone.

Now Grant is celebrating 5 years cancer free and feels great. He also hopes that men will take time to be aware of their own bodies.

“Whether it’s breast cancer awareness month or not, it’s important to always check your breasts to make sure there’s nothing abnormal, and if there is, you should see your doctor immediately,” concluded Grant.Male breast cancer survivor speaks out about being aware of your body


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