Tell Me Something I Don't Know about Breast Cancer: It Can Affect Men, Too
SARASOTA - About 3 months ago, Gregory Katz’s life changed.
“My dog jumped on my chest, and I felt a little lump or something that was abnormal," Katz said.
He says he didn’t think anything of it, until his doctor suggested he get a mammogram, then a biopsy. He was diagnosed with breast cancer and had his right breast completely removed.
Just ask Cancer Center of Sarasota-Manatee Medical Director, Dr. Steven Mamus, who’s been an oncologist for 36 years.
“I've seen maybe 15, 20 cases in that period of time, so once a year, not that often,” Dr. Mamus said.
Katz tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation. Dr. Mamus says he predicted that positive result because of Katz’ background.
“A BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in the general population is 1 out of every 400 individuals. For patients or individuals who are of Ashkenazi Jewish background, it’s 1 out of 40," Dr. Mamus said.
Dr. Mamus says that wasn’t the only predictor. Katz also beat prostate cancer.
“A patient with male breast cancer, if they give a history of prostate cancer or pancreatic cancer in the family, that should be a red flag," Dr. Mamus said.
Katz says his cancer is Stage 2. He’s a few weeks into chemotherapy and trying to stay positive.
“You have to do what you have to do," Katz said.
Though it's rare, both say there’s still a takeaway for men.
“Male breast cancer with BRCA1 or BRCA2, you have a much higher risk of developing breast cancer of the opposite breast, and there’s also the potential worry of prostate cancer or pancreatic cancer," Dr. Mamus said.
“If you see anything that looks like a lump, get it checked out as soon as possible," Katz said.