GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – At the Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health nearly 160 patients are seen a day, that’s six days a week.
For Bon Secours contractor Ron Shockley, electrical installation and maintenance, was his main focus at the center.
But that changed back in February 2018.
“Because I’m a male, I never dreamed that I would end up with breast cancer,” Shockley said.
Breast Health Navigator Program Manager Becky Steele said it’s a myth that breast cancer is only a woman’s disease.
“We do have plenty of men that get breast cancer. Less than 1% of all breast cancers are found in men. But it still does happen,” Steele said.
Recent data found 1 in 883 men compared to 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While the numbers aren’t as high for men, there’s a chance.
Shockley admits to finding a small lump and, against his wife’s protest, ignoring it for close to a year.
“It went from being the size of a pimple to being the size of my thumb, that you could see is a big difference,” Shockley said.
Steele said Shockley’s story is a common practice among men. Unfortunately, it’s why many men’s cases are sever going into treatment.
“Men tend to say ‘Oh it’s nothing. It’s going to go away,’ and then it’s been there for months or a year until they may finally come in and get it looked at,” Steele said.
Since Shockley’s diagnosis February 2018, treatment has been successful and his cancer is in remission.
Steele said those who worked at the center rallied around Shockley when he came for treatment. She added that he’s been one of the reasons for the center’s success.
“He actually did all the electrical work, he hooked up all this equipment up. He did all the lighting, he did the light bulbs,” Steele said, “he actually help build what saved his life.”
Now cancer free, Shockley said he’s on a mission.
“If I can make at least one man, you know think that it could be, at least go get it checked. Don’t be hard headed, like I was, and wait a year,” Shockley said.
Breast cancer in men could exhibit similar symptoms in women.
Therefore, if you notice lumps or anything unusual things dealing with your breasts, it’s recommended you contact a physician.
Steele suggested men should do a monthly breast self examination, just like women, especially if breast cancer has been found in any family members.