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Spreading Awareness About Breast Cancer In Men

Publication: KCEN-TV (NBC, Temple)
10/31/2023

Although the percent of men with breast cancer is smaller than win, doctors say early detection is key.

WACO, Texas — The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is a disease that can attack anyone, including men.

This is something Jason Williamson of Moody, Texas knows first hand. Williamson is a part of a small percentage of men diagnosed with the disease.

"This year, there were about 260,000 breast cancer patients in total. And out of those there were about 2,100 men throughout the United States," said Dr. Carlos Encarnacion, an oncologist with Texas Oncology - Waco. "In Texas, I think last year, there were probably about 100 cases diagnosed, so it's less than one percent of breast cancer patients."

Dr. Encarnacion says in his 26 years as an oncologist, he's seen about five men with breast cancer. Things that increase men's risk for breast cancer includes family history, certain genetics, obesity and drinking too much.

He says early detection is key to fighting off the disease. "Early stage breast, cancer for men, or women is still very curable. If you’re waiting for the cancer has spread than the chance of cure go to minimal or zero." Dr. Encarnacion also say at age 50 men should get checked for the disease.

However, he says many men don't ever know they have the disease in order to get it cured.

"That is one of the reasons for which sometimes the outcomes for cancer of the breast in men is worse, because the it delays the diagnosis because the man feels something and is never going to think that he has cancer," said  Dr. Encarnacion.

That was the case for Williamson. He and his wife, Janelle Williamson sat down with 6 News last year. The two said Jason felt a lump on his chest, but it wasn't until his wife felt the lump last April,  that they went to the doctor. That lump turned out to be a tumor and Jason was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in June of 2022.

"You know we had no idea, we weren't even thinking of it being breast cancer," said Janelle Williamson.

It's been more than a year since Jason was diagnosed and he continues his fight with breast cancer. "I'm the guy who's going to wake up every morning and post to Facebook with a good morning and a 'hashtag cancer can't stop me," Jason Williamson said.

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