We have a warning men don't hear often. Watch out for breast cancer. It's much less common in men but around 15 hundred were diagnosed last year and nearly 5 hundred died. Today two Ark-La-Tex survivors share their stories.
You may know him as the chancellor of LSU Shreveport. But on this day Doctor Vince Marsala speaks as a cancer survivor.
"I discovered it as I was shaving and noticed that my left nipple had inverted a little bit so I thought that was unusual," says Dr. Marsala.
The diagnosis of breast cancer last August came as a shock since no one in his family ever had the disease... that's the biggest risk factor.
"Around 50 percent of men with breast cancer had a mother or sister who died of breast cancer," says Dr. Rober Jackson. He's an internist at LSU Health Sciences Center. His mother died from breast cancer when he was eight. Then seven years ago the doctor became a patient.
"I reached up and felt and there was a small marble sized mass there," he says.
Doctor jackson says a lump within an inch of the nipple is the most common sign of male breast cancer which behaves very much like the female form. Men may also have an inverted nipple.
"If they do notice an inverted nipple particularly one that their partner comments is new or if they notice a mass they should certainly get it checked out immediately and not do what most men do which is I couldn't possible have this and wait for months," he says.
Both Doctor Jackson and Doctor Marsala sought medical attention immediately. With aggressive treatment both men are now cancer free...and speaking out to warn other men.
"I thought it would be a good example for men. They should examine themselves regularly. They're not immune from breast cancer, " says Dr. Marsala.
The men are this year's honorary co-chairs for the Susan G. Komen Shreveport Bossier Race for the Cure. Teams, like LSUHSC's which is 250 strong this year, are getting ready for the 5-k run/ walk this Saturday. KSLA is a sponsor of the race to raise awareness of breast cancer and money for a cure. Join us Saturday 7 am at Mall St. Vincent. Call 318-458-RACE (7223) for more information.