October is breast cancer awareness month, and not just for women

Did you know?

I bought a huge bottle of Sutter Home white zinfandel yesterday and opened it last night.

The cork was pink and had HOPE on it.

HOPE cork from Sutter Home wine bottle

The sides of the cork reminded me that October is breast cancer awareness month.

Sutter Home wins my heart.

Male breast cancer awarenessWe learned in Health 101 (men’s class) my first semester at Texas A&M University that men can get breast cancer, too. According to Wikipedia,

About one percent of breast cancer develops in males. It is estimated that about 2,140 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States. The number of annual deaths in the US is about 440. The tumor can occur over a wide age range but typically appears in males in their sixties and seventies. 

In Health 101, we learned self-examination of our testes and our breasts. The teacher’s assistant told us to remember it as B&B—Boobs and Balls.

As an aside, one of the advantages of living in a dorm for one’s first year at college is that it is easy to make friends. I had Health 101 with one of my new dorm friends. By Christmas time, he was dead. He discovered a lump in his breast when we were learning how to do breast self-examination in class. He had it checked out, was told that he had breast cancer and that it had metastasized already. He was only 18. That was my first experience with the death of a close family member or friend.

8 thoughts on “October is breast cancer awareness month, and not just for women

  1. Merrilee ‘Annie’ Morgan

    Wow, your last paragraph was a stunner. I looked it up and found out that about 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US each year. I reminded my 73 year-old husband to start checking as I don’t think his doctor does and his response was it is a minuscule chance compared to so many other things that kill us, I.e. ladder falls, auto accidents, etc. But given the main age range it affects and that it’s not accidental I think it’s worth checking for, so thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Candy S

    Sorry! I meant to acknowledge your post on Breast Cancer. Unfortunately, we lose sight of the fact that it affects men and women. Thanks for taking the time to refocus us of the seriousness of this awful disease and the impact that it has had on so many lives.

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  3. Jennifer J. New

    I am so sorry to hear of your friend passing at such a extremely young age. We all need to check each time we shower. I encourage my whole family as my grandma an aunt died of breast cancer. Thank you for sharing this post to remind everyone to be aware. :Jen

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  4. TamrahJo

    Wow! what an impactful story given your early and quick introduction to all the big B&B C word means and how it strikes fear in the hearts of so many – and is still ignored as basic home check ins that can, make a difference, sometimes, if done and reported on, early – sigh – – I come from long matriarchal line of females who died, survived and/or succumbed to the big C – on many more fronts than just B – some hidden so deep they were ignored, or brushed off by the layman and expert both as ‘it’s part of being a woman, grown up and toughen up and quit whining’ – admonitions – for years! Others? Ignored what they knew, in their cellular depths, long before any outside examination or tissue layer imaging tests could see or confirm – they chose to ignore it and toughen up and wait for it to go away given clean and righteous living with healthy doses of prayer added in – – Who knows? really? What all provides the fertile ground, what actions acerbate, stem, stop in tracks – that works for everyone, everytime – to date, in my experience, no one – on the other hand – doesn’t hurt to do your own B&B checks – serves you best to let health care providers know when something is off, and if they brush you off, tell you to ‘not worry/forget about it?” Wait 10 -30 days- if no increase or total stop of symptoms and that stays steady – IF not? and it increases/ebbs and flows? For the love of all that is holy – change providers, get drives to new ones, garner support once you wear out and are tired of ‘trying to get someone to notice, one more time’ – – otherwise? Yup – you’ll be relegated to the list of, “well, they just didn’t take care of themselves’ history list, no matter how it turns out – and those who didn’t listen, were too scared to keep speaking up in face of opposition/ridicule perish are remembered as somehow failing themselves, even though they finally wore out/gave up – :D. Sorry – meant to leave a short ‘kudos/WOW!” response, but, in the end, the intro, “Let your words flow” is to me like waving a red cape in front of a bull – – mea culpa – but you did say…..LOL

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Let your words flow

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