One day last year, Michael Johnston discovered a lump under his skin. He promptly went to the doctor, who told Johnston he had breast cancer.
“My wife and my daughter asked why I didn’t get testicular cancer like other men,” recalls Johnston, 55. “I said, ‘Would you rather have me without breasts or without balls?’”
Johnston is unusual: Women get breast cancer 100 times more often than men. “Many men don’t realize they can get breast cancer so they ignore the lump in their chest,” explains Dr. Sharon Giordano, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas.
“When they finally go to see the doctor, the tumor has spread.”
It may be a lump under the nipple, a sore on the chest or liquid leaking from the nipple. If the tumor is diagnosed before it has spread, treatment methods — radiation, mastectomy, chemotherapy and hormone treatment — are very effective.
“I can empathize with what women go through,” said Johnston, who has recovered.