This magnet on my car raises a lot of questions. Most people assume that it is a last name. It is not. It is the name of my husband's brother. He was diagnosed with Male Breast Cancer 10 years ago.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2007 some 2,030 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States. Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1/10th of 1% (1 in 1,000). The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.
In 2007, about 450 men will die from breast cancer in the United States.
When my brother in law was diagnosed, he was told he had less than 5 years to live. Since then he has had a mastectomy, the cancer has spread to innumerable parts of his body (including his spine) and he has undergone many various treatments. He will never be rid of cancer, and we know that eventually it will kill him. There have been several times when we thought it was the end, and he has surprised us. We give him things to look forward to like planned family vacations. We have enjoyed these last 10 years with him, and hope for many more, but know that the end may come any day.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Be aware that it is not only women who get this disease. There is information about diagnosis and treatment at the American Cancer Society website.