Male breast cancer survivor credits wife with saving his life

Male breast cancer survivor credits wife with saving his life

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John went to the doctor, he had the same tests women go through if breast cancer is suspected. John went to the doctor, he had the same tests women go through if breast cancer is suspected.
"In this instance, it's okay to nag," said Linda. "In this instance, it's okay to nag," said Linda.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Breast cancer is most often considered a woman's disease, but men can also get it.

Only one percent of all breast cancers are found in men, which translates to about 2,000 men every year. 400 out of that number will die.

One local man is one of the lucky ones and he knows it.

John Crawford stays on top of his health.

He gets a physical every year and also gets regular mammograms.

John is a breast cancer survivor.

He found out he had stage II breast cancer after his wife, Linda, noticed a lump on his chest.

"I gave him two days to contact our family doctor and he didn't, as most men are prone to do, so I called and made an appointment," said Linda.

When John went to the doctor, he had the same tests women go through if breast cancer is suspected.

"They did the mammogram and said 'Yeah, this doesn't look good'. So they did an ultrasound, 'Uh, this doesn't look good'," said John. "Then they did a biopsy and sure enough it was breast cancer."

John doesn't have a family history of the disease, but men should know, if their family does, they could be at risk too.

"Men do die of breast cancer and it's not what you would normally think of, 'Oh, my husband died of breast cancer'," said Dr. Tim Panella at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. "It's usually the other way around, but it happens."

Dr. Panella also said overweight men tend to have breast lumps.

"If you notice a breast lump, especially if it's on one side more than another, go and have your doctor look at it and get it checked," he said.

John is forever grateful his wife noticed the lump and made sure he got to the doctor.

"I was a little bit embarrassed to even consider it, but she stayed on me and basically saved my life," John said.

"In this instance, it's okay to nag," said Linda.

Dr. Panella said if a family has the BRCA 1 or 2 genetic mutation, men are at higher risk for breast cancer and prostate cancer.

John had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.

He is now celebrating his 12th year as a breast cancer survivor.

More information on male breast cancer including treatment, types of breast cancer, risks and other facts can be found on the National Cancer Institute's website.

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