Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Pink Ribbon


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.
source: cancer.org


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.

33 comments:

Blog Antagonist said...

So many people don't know that men can get breast cancer too. My grandfather got it many years ago, and it was a shameful thing. Not really sure why.

soccer mom in denial said...

I just learned one of my boys' classmate's dad was diagnosed last year. I felt like such a moron when I said to his wife "BREAST cancer?" Not one of my prouder moments.

Terrific post. And I wish many more years for your brother in law.

Candygirlflies said...

Well done, PM... as usual!!

This is such important information to share... Too few people realize that breast cancer is not just a women's disease.

Thank you!

CGF xo

Tracey said...

I'm so sorry... but I am glad for him and your family that he has had so much more time with you. May he continue to amaze the medical community and live on with no pain...

niobe said...

Breast cancer is such a cruel disease. It takes so many people away from us far too soon. I hope your brother-in-law continues to prove the doctors wrong and has many full and happy years ahead.

flutter said...

Cancer is horrendous, and thank you for reminding us all that breast cancer is not just a woman's disease

slouching mom said...

What an important post. Thank you.

WorksForMom said...

I am so sorry to hear that. This post was a beautiful tribute and the awareness factor along was very powerful.

crazymumma said...

I had no idea about male breast cancer. no.idea.

I'm so sorry.

And. on another note. The five years has been good to you. Beautiful.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your BIL. Breast cancer is a completely insidious disease. Thanks for posting this.

Beck said...

That is such a sad story.
My dad had to get checked for breast cancer and thank God he didn't have it, but I remember being very startled at the time.

Victoria said...

I'm so very sorry about your BIL's diagnosis and fight.

Sober Briquette said...

I'm sorry that your BIL and family have been affected by this ordeal. Thank you for raising awareness, because education and early detection are some of the best ways to fight back.

Gregory will be in my prayers.

b*babbler said...

Thank you for the reminder that we all need to be vigilant - male and female alike.

May your brother-in-law have many more years ahead of him to defy the medical community.

PunditMom said...

Thanks for reminding us that October is not just about the girls and "their girls."

SusieJ said...

So sorry, sorry sorry. This must be so painful for all of you. That is an alarming statistic.

Amy said...

I'm so sorry. I'll keep him in my prayers. I've "gone pink" on my blog this month in honor of a friend named Jenn. She had breast cancer last year and underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. She had 4 children under age 6 at the time. She got pregnant a month after the reconstruction. Her 5th baby was born in Feb. and within days she could feel the pain - in her bones. She going through it all over again this year. It's just a cruel thing. Many prayers needed.

Casdok said...

Its something we dont hink about, but should.
Thaml you

Heidi Hyde said...

PM-
Keep fighting the good fight. And thank you for your enlightening post.

-HH

thailandchani said...

Thanks for the reminder. :)



Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

Mad Hatter said...

Thank you for this post. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that men could get breast cancer but it was a fact that got dropped because I had heard it so long ago. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy York said...

Yes, thanks for the reminder. I hope you get to spend many more years with Gregory.

Amy York said...

Yes, thanks for the reminder. I hope you get to spend many more years with Gregory.

Emily said...

You are so wondrously philanthropic! Thanks for the info and the links.

nomotherearth said...

Wow, I had no idea that it was possible for men to get it. I guess I am one of the woefully uninformed. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Furrow said...

It is hard to remember that men suffer from this, too. I'm sure it's more difficult for them to find support.

I hope Gregory has many more years of beating the odds.

Christine said...

this is so scary. i am so sorry that he has had to suffer so much.

Salome's Mom said...

Thank you for passing this on, so few know this also happens to men.

Rimarama said...

PM, you are doing a good thing in helping more people become aware of this kind of breast cancer.

Peace and prayers for your BIL.

amanda said...

Great blog- I am a nurse in various settings but unfortunately have been exposed to the cruelness of the disease. I walked last year in the breast cancer 3 day walk. Unfortunately, this year life got in the way. Next year I will be walking again- a rewarding experience for anyone interested. You walk along individuals going through chemotherapy and they are stronger and braver than most people I know.

BOSSY said...

F*ck Cancer. Bossy is so so so sick of it stealing away the best of the best.

Mean Mommy said...

Great post. We do need reminding that women aren't the only ones fighting breast cancer. I hope your brother-in-law shows cancer who's boss.

carrie said...

You know, I had not heard a whole lot about this and now I sit here, reading about your brother in law, and I can't believe it.

I hope that he continues to live a full and happy life for many, many years to come.