A Word About Men and Breast Cancer…

I had a mammogram two years ago.

MjAxMy01NDIzYzI1NmVjZGQ3MzEyYes. Men get Breast Cancer. Yes. Men get mammograms.

The reason for my mammogram was the same as for anybody. I felt something on my chest that shouldn’t be there. [enter obligatory “extra nipple” joke here]  The small tender mass was benign, but it was removed anyway because of the discomfort it caused.

I’m 6’1” tall. The technician who did my mammogram was a petite 5’ Asian woman. She was polite but direct. She pulled and stretched my chest like she was kneading dough, and managed to get the necessary imagery from my nonexistent breasts. The exam was mildly uncomfortable, but painless.

We exchanged phone numbers, and…

If the technician could get a usable image from me, there’s no excuse for any woman not to get a mammogram.

As far as I know, I have only one family member who had breast cancer. It was the 1970s. My family whispered the words “Lady Cancer”, as if saying cancer aloud would somehow spread it among the gossipers. My great-aunt Mary died within a year of being diagnosed.

We’ve come a long way since the 1970s. We no longer group ovarian, uterine, and breast cancers together as “Lady Cancer”, but misconceptions persist.

Yes. Men get breast cancer. And yes, men should get mammograms.