CINCINNATI (FOX19) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while most breast cancer occurs in women, it’s still important for men to get checked.
One percent of men, like Bob Peters, will experience breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Ten years ago, Peters went to the doctor for a biopsy and mammogram.
“I guess I felt a lump, nothing like I would’ve ever thought,” said Peters.
When the doctor returned, Peters was diagnosed with cancer.
“It’s oftentimes ignored, a little more because it’s not as well known, but the symptoms are similar. Feeling a lump or abnormal spot in the breast or chest wall and sometimes a spot underneath the arm as well,” said Dr. Ben Kuritzky with Tri Health Institute.
Peters underwent surgery and started chemotherapy and radiation right away.
“I feel great. I feel good. I was one of those lucky people during chemo I never got sick," Peters explained. "I lost my hair; It’s starting to come back, but everything’s going good,” said Peters.
However, despite the treatments, he found out about seven months ago the cancer spread to his lungs making it stage four.
Peters' reaction was frightening as it would be for a lot of people.
“A little scared. When I had the first surgery. . . I didn’t tell my kids," said Peters. "It was my doctor and my wife. And then when I got diagnosed with stage four, it was time to tell them and that was tough. My kids are still 31 and 32 so they’re still pretty young and I just want to be here for as long as I can for them.”
Doctors say it is crucial not to ignore the symptoms.
“If it’s diagnosed early a surgery can be done to remove the cancer and depending on what kind there’s treatments in pill form to block some of the hormones that fuel the growth of the cancer,” said Dr. Kuritzky.
Peters says he is fighting for his wife and his children, who mean the world to him.
“I’m 10, 12 years into this, and hopefully another 20 years into this, but I’d like to see it go away for a while,” said Peters.
Peters is receiving radiation treatment and says he feels great.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation says these factors can increase the chances of a man getting breast cancer:
- older age
- BRCA2 gene mutation
- Family history of breast cancer
- Gynecomastia (enlargement of the breast tissue)
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (a genetic condition related to high levels of estrogen in the body)
- Overweight and obesity