Monday, February 12, 2007
Medical Reports: Men and Mammograms
It's routine for women -- after 40, get a yearly mammogram. But women aren't the only ones who get breast cancer. Male breast cancer is on the rise, especially here in South Florida. In tonight's special report, "Men and Mammograms", you'll see why it's so important for some men to get checked.
WSVN -- It's something you expect to hear from a woman.
David Kingsley: "I reached up because my muscle was sore and felt a small lump in my left breast."
And it's a disease you expect to strike a mother, not a father.
Nancy Nick: "In 1991, my father died of male breast cancer."
Breast cancer is considered a woman's disease.
A stigma that David Kingsley still encounters 16 years after beating breast cancer.
David Kingsley: "I will call and say, 'I'd like to schedule a mammogram,' and they say, 'Well your wife should call on her own,' and I say, 'No, no, it's for me.' And they say, 'We don't do mammograms for men,' and I say, 'Yes, you do.'"
More men are recognizing that they can get breast cancer too.
The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has seen a huge increase in men getting mammograms in the last few years.
Dr. Stephanie Hines: "There are certainly more men coming in for mammograms than we used to see in the past. Probably one a day, on average."
Nurse to patient: "This is going to come down and press your breast."
'Man-o-Grams' are performed the same way on men as women's breast cancer, even though men have limited breast tissue.
Dr. Stephanie Hines: "It may be uncomfortable, I won't say it's not painful, but it's not more painful than what women experience."
Craig Stevens: "While male breast cancer is still very rare compared to women, there has been a slight increase over the last 10 years, especially here in South Florida."
Dr. Michael Schwartz: "Much of that increase could be attributed to cases in Broward and Palm Beach counties. We know that male breast cancer occurs at an older age than in women, and, obviously, Florida has an aging population in some areas."
But not all men should get mammograms. Only those with a strong family history, or who've already had breast cancer, and, of course, if they find a lump.
Dr. Michael Schwartz: "The typical presentation of a male with breast cancer is a painless lump in the breast."
Doctors dismissed a lump in the breast of Nancy Nick's father.
Something she never wants to happen to another man.
Nancy Nick: "My dad's death must have been so that I would start a foundation and save other lives through him."
David is also joining that crusade, counseling other male breast cancer patients here in South Florida.
He knows it's a disease that doesn't discriminate.
David Kingsley: "I was able to catch it early, which is the most important thing."
Louise Kingsley: "It was very difficult for us, but we made it through, and we're doing fine."
Something else interesting to note: Men who have breast cancer are also at higher risk of getting prostate cancer. So those men need to be watched extra closely.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
John W. Nick Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 4133
Vero Beach, FL 32963