LOWELL, Ark. (KFTA) — Although the risk for men getting breast cancer is less than one percent, it does happen.
Five years ago, Dale Pace of Lowell, noticed a bump on his chest.
“I got to noticing one day that one of my nipples was a little bit different than the other one,” Pace said. “It felt like it had a little bit of a lump behind it.”
After he went to his family doctor, he was referred to a cancer doctor.
“It turned out to be cancerous,” he said. “The next day I was in the hospital and had a mastectomy.”
Pace caught the cancer early and was able to beat it.
“To come through it just makes you appreciate things a lot more,” he said. “It gives you a different outlook on life I guarantee you.”
“I help patients when they are newly diagnosed to kind of find out what they have need of,” Johnson said. “If they have needs of general support or needs with finances, or rides to appointments.”
Johnson said in the five years she has been working at the support home, she has see a handful of men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I do currently have a male that I’m navigating and so it has been really encouraging that I have been able to help him,” she said.
Although the risk for men getting breast cancer is less than one percent, Johnson said it is critical to raise awareness of the possibility.
“We talk all the time about women knowing their normal for their breast tissue,” she said. “It is just equally as important as a man to know his breast tissue or his chest tissue.”
Johnson said it is important men know there is a risk and what their family history is.
“If dad is a carrier those girls (daughters) are up to a 60 percent chance of having breast cancer in their lifetime,” Johnson said. “We want them to be well-armed and know what they are facing.”
Johnson said of the men she has helped they have been a little apprehensive.
She said this probably stems from the common misconception that males feel they are less masculine for reaching out for help when they see changes in their bodies.
“It doesn’t take away from their masculinity, it really is something that is a disease process and they need to get it treated as quickly as possible,” she said.
Something Pace, also wants to reiterate.
“It doesn’t make you less masculine to do that,” he said. “You could be saving your life by getting it checked and taken care of as soon as possible.”
Pace has been cancer free ever since his surgery.