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Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 18:31
EL PASO - During breast cancer awareness month don't think pink without considering a little blue.
"It doesn't matter if you're black, white, purple, pink, man or a woman...it can affect anyone. And information can save your life through early detection."
Nancy Nick began the Pink and Blue Ribbon Initiative as President of the John W. Nick Foundation... which she established to honor her father's memory and to let others know men get breast cancer too.
"My father had gone to the doctor three times in eight years and they all dismissed it and the lack of awareness when he was unable to receive early detection and so he ended up dying a slow, painful death in 1991."
Male breast cancer typically strikes older men and only affects about 1,400 in the United States per year. Dr. Gary Schabacker says hormones cause this deadly disease in both men and women.
"The signs early on are usually a lump or some soreness. Other things...ulcerations of the skin, fluid out through the nipple, a retraction of the nipple."
Nick attributes environmental factors since more than 60 men have received breast cancer diagnoses around the Camp Lejeune area in the past three years.
"It's about our environment and our food and our water too."
Since breast cancer remains far more common in women... affecting about 300,000 per year... treatment for men comes from the knowledge doctors have gained from cases involving women. And for both sexes... doctors believe awareness and early detection will save lives.