Michiana man raises awareness about male breast cancer
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – A Michiana male breast cancer survivor is sharing his story in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Greg Scott, a Mishawaka resident, wants people to understand the disease effects men too.
“Women aren’t aware that men get breast cancer,” said Scott. “Men aren’t aware that they get breast cancer.”
Scott begs people to check themselves whether they’re a man or woman. He says if people catch it early enough, they won’t have to have a scar like his.
“Check yourself,” said Scott. “You know even if you suspect or if you are a little crazy, you think you got cancer, you know your body. Go get checked out.”
Scott says in 2011, he decided to self-examine his breasts after doctors diagnosed his younger sister with breast cancer. He claims he found three hard, half-dollar sized lumps.
“I told everybody, and everybody said you don’t have cancer,” said Scott. “Even professional doctors, you know, said I didn’t have cancer. I knew I did.”
Scott says he went to three doctors and says all three told him he didn’t have breast cancer because it’s so rare in men.
Fewer than one percent of all breast cancer develops in men. Only one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease.
Scott says a fourth doctor finally diagnosed him with stage three breast cancer. Scott’s right breast was removed. Scott endured years of chemotherapy and radiation. However, it paid off. Scott has been cancer free for nearly eight years.
“It had an effect on my mind, it had an effect on my body,” said Scott. “You know, i just didn’t feel whole again. I felt like half a man.”
Dr. Robin Zon is an oncologist at Michiana Hematology Oncology. Dr. Zon said it’s hard to explain why men develop breast cancer because, for the most part, the cancer cells grow in response to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Generally, men have low-levels of those hormones.
Dr. Zon said genetics may offer an answer. Families with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation have increased risk for developing male breast cancer.