Breast cancer often overlooked in men

MIAMISBURG — According to Kettering Medical doctors, about 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

About 1 out of 900 men will be diagnosed.

While the percentage of men getting breast cancer is vastly different. It should still be taken seriously.

But for Bill Sykes of Xenia, he says it needs to be talked about more. It was a reality Sykes had to deal with starting in October of 2008. He was diagnosed with breast cancer after he went to his doctor for a biopsy following his discovery of abnormal lumps on his chest.

“When they tell you that you have cancer and you don’t hear the rest of what they have to say it’s true,” he said.

“Literally my wife and I sat in the office listening to them telling us all of this stuff and cried,” he added.

Sykes had to get a mastectomy and was put on a medicine called Tamoxifen for five years.

He and his wife Carol eventually went back to their normal living, riding their bikes as usual. But in December 2018, Sykes' cancer returned on the same side causing him to prepare for another bumpy ride.

“Ultimately I ended up having to have a second surgery. After that surgery, I had radiation therapy and I’m back on Tamoxifen again and they tell me this time it should be a ten-year course. So I don’t know how that goes,” he said.

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According to

-There are currently 71,850 estimated new cases of cancer in Ohio.

-Of that, 10,350 of those cases are breast cancer (statistics for breast cancer are just county females).

-National Breast estimates 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S and approximately 520 will die.

“We talk about genetic mutations a lot in Women, causing breast cancer. Those genetic mutations can also affect men and they can carry those genes and actually pass them along to their daughter and sons” says Dr. Megan Musser of the Kettering Breast Evaluation Center.

To help stay ahead of a potential spreading of breast cancer Dr. Musser says men should self-examine themselves just as often as women do.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed out. It’s a process that’s out of their control. I know that we got lots of pink everywhere, but we take care of male patients every day," she added.

Sykes says your life could depend on it.

“If you don’t do the exam and you ignore the symptoms it’s at your own peril,” he said.

Doctors say no matter if you are a man or a woman, catching breast cancer early is crucial for a better chance of survival.

If you find anything that concerns you, contact your primary care physician.