I contacted your Web site because of your education about Breast Cancer. Your request for my story comes 6 months after my first of annual mammograms. It’s okay they said, we’ve done these on Asian women with even less tissue. It wasn’t reassuring.
I turned 45 this year, an appropriate age for a breast examination routine. To say my forties snuck up on me, bares no excuse for not considering an annual breast exam. Actually, it was a series of visits to a dermatologist, which brought me to Breast Cancer awareness.
My eventual treatment was the extraction of my right aureola and two weeks later, a right sentinel node biopsy with axillary lymph node dissection.
Let me back up. I love golfing. It was a year before surgery, they started trimming on my nipple, July, again in August, one time in October, prime golfing in the Pacific Northwest. All of this weakened my right side and corrected a wicked slice in my game. I didn’t know to take what was happening to me seriously. I even shot my best round with a suture on my right nipple.
By late fall I wasn’t golfing and a mastectomy was scheduled for after the new year.
A mastectomy in Oregon, USA, is a day surgery. I arrived to the hospital at 6:00 a.m. and left around 9:00 p.m. with instructions for the drain bag and an automatic morphine dispenser. Thankfully, my wife and her mother were there and transported me to a comfortable place at home.
Gratefully, I was employed with a company which offered medical insurance. They didn’t however, offer any kind of sick pay or short term disability, so I went back to work the week in between surgeries and took a total of 16 days for recovery of the two surgeries. Even with what I consider very good insurance, it’s taken us until this June to pay off the co-pay; 18 months later.
My wife, Julie believes, if I were a woman, treatment would have been expedited and reconstruction options made available.
With limited treatment data for male BC, (age 45), the post surgery treatment is based on a pre-menopausal woman of the same age. The thought, using an estrogen inhibitor lowers the chance for reoccurrence.
I now know Breast Cancer is a concern for men and I’m proud to share my story with you.
I’m doing well. It’s taken a year of swinging a club and a coach to get me golfing again, I look forward to a lower handicap and a new appreciation.