DEAR ABBY: Won't you please make your readers aware of male breast cancer? Men never have their breasts checked or check them themselves.
My husband was finally diagnosed after five months of "dilly-dallying." He had a mastectomy and is now on medication prescribed for women because so little is researched for men.
"They" say that 4 percent of breast cancer patients are male. I say it's probably more like 15 percent. Please inform your readers. -- CHARLOTTE IN NORTHBROOK, ILL.
DEAR CHARLOTTE: I'm pleased your husband's cancer was caught in time. After reading your letter, I contacted the American Cancer Society. It estimates that before 2005 is over, 1,690 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States. That's compared to 211,240 cases in women, and less than 1 percent. Of course, if YOUR husband is in that fractional percent, it is one case too many!
I was also told that there are "too few men with breast cancer for doctors to study in clinical trials" -- which is probably why your husband is receiving the same kind of treatment that women do. (This includes surgery, radiation, post-operative chemotherapy and/or Tamoxifen.)
As with any other cancer, the sooner it's caught the better. And that is why men should routinely check themselves for lumps that could signify breast (or testicular) cancer.