What’s Different About Male Breast Cancer?

When I met Carl “Mac” Holmes, ambulance it was in the midst of a conference for breast cancer patients. Lt. Colonel Holmes, sale a former Air Force pilot, stood out from most other attendees, because he is a man who lives with metastatic breast cancer. He looked sharp, with gray-brown eyes, white hair and a polo shirt tucked in.

“It’s not a man’s world,” he told me. Indeed, male breast tumors accounts for a tiny proportion of cases. The CDC reports that 2,000 U.S. men receive a diagnosis of breast cancer annually. The number of women diagnosed with invasive disease exceeds 240,000 each year.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy,” he said. But it can be awkward. “At the doctor’s office, for instance, they asked, ‘Are we seeing your wife?’”

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