(KUTV) Statistics show one out of eight women will get breast cancer, but breast cancer is not just a concern for women.
Less than one percent of men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Jeff Stokes was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. “Last December I noticed I was itchy on my left breast,” Jeff said.
Jeff Stokes was in the shower when he noticed he had a lump. He called his doctor and tests were ordered. His doctor was concerned that Jeff may have breast cancer.
At first, Jeff was skeptical. “Of course I thought, ‘well of course it’s not, I’m male. It is going to be fine.’”
Jeff had surgery and test results confirmed his doctor’s fear.
“The surgeon called me one day while I was leaving my house and he said interestingly ‘the results came back’ and ‘you do have cancer,’” Jeff said. “And wow, the world just fell apart for me…I remember opening the door of the truck and then I closed it. I was like ‘how am I going to tell my wife this.’ You know. This just doesn’t happen.”
Doctors say breast cancer is not as common in men as it is in women. In fact, less than one percent of men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Doctor Brett Parkinson, a radiologist at the Intermountain Medical Center Breast Care Center, says that most men aren’t on the lookout for breast cancer because they think only women are at risk of getting it. “A man who gets a diagnosis of breast cancer is really surprised. It hits them from out of nowhere because, number one, they don’t expect to have breast cancer anyway.”
Jeff certainly didn’t think he could get breast cancer. He initially thought doctors made a mistake. He thought that it was possible doctors mixed up samples.
A second surgery revealed that the cancer had not spread. Right now, Jeff is undergoing radiation. Doctors say his prognosis is good. As he battles cancer, Jeff has some advice for men, “If something doesn’t seem right, if you feel something in your breast, don’t be embarrassed, or don’t think that it can’t happen.”
Doctors say many men will wait to see their doctors because they don’t think they can get breast cancer.
Bottom line, if you notice something unusual, call your doctor.
For more information, visit cancerutah.org
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)