Archive | October 3, 2017

Men Get Breast Cancer, Too

One out of every 100 cases of breast cancer is in a man. While the incidence is much lower in men than women, few know that men are 10 times more likely to die from the disease than women. Husband, father and former high school running back Rodney Harmon was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 43 after feeling something unusual in his left side.

Meet Rodney and listen to his story in his own words in this video.

 

Rodney had a family history of breast cancer. His mother, grandmother and grandfather had breast cancer, and all were diagnosed at fairly young ages.

After the mammogram at Lexington Medical Center revealed a suspicious lesion, Rodney received an ultrasound and then a biopsy. The next day, he got the call confirming a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis. He had surgery and was proscribed medication for five years. Determined to minimize the impact, Rodney returned to work at a manufacturing plant in Winnsboro only a week after surgery.

“The important thing for me was getting back to normal,” he said. “Cancer is a disease that if you think you’re beaten, you’re beaten. But I know that with the right mindset, you can get through anything. If your thought process is, ‘this is just a bump in the road,’ and you keep moving, then everything will be all right.”

The surgery left a long scar that shows when Rodney works out. “For a little while, you feel disfigured when you go through something like that. But I had a 10-year-old kid with a brain tumor who was looking at my scar, and he said, ‘you look like a superhero.’ If he can say that, then I’m not going to feel bad about it.”

Like many women with breast cancer, Rodney found support from co-workers and friends. And far from hiding his experience, Harmon leverages his status. He meets with newly diagnosed men for lunch to talk and answer questions.

“If it’s going to raise awareness, then my answer is ‘yes,’” he said.

Rodney advises men to get a physical every year as a precaution.

“A real man is one who is not afraid to get checked out, and if something is wrong, not afraid to tell people about it,” he said. “I’m blessed. I’m walking above ground and not lying below it. In the grand scheme of things, everything that happens to you is a chance to learn and help the next person.”

#ItsOurFightToo

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program, visit LexMed.com/Cancer.