GRAND PRAIRIE (CBS 11 NEWS) – It’s shock enough to be diagnosed with cancer. But, a Grand Prairie man says he was terrified when doctors told him he had breast cancer.
Though breast cancer in men is far less common than it is in women, research suggests it is much more fatal.
Scott Gorton, of Grand Prairie, loves to ride his motorcycle. He thinks of himself as somewhat of a tough guy.
“If I could be anybody, I’d be John Wayne,” he said.
“But, that’s long gone,” he added.
Three years ago, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
He was terrified. He and his wife, Missy, had only been married for eight months.
She remembers her frustration. She was angry with the doctors, who kept delivering bad news.
She was angry with Scott.
“It was why didn’t you get that lump checked and get it removed 20 years ago?” she said with tears streaming down her face.
“My understanding is, it wasn’t breast cancer for those many years. And, it became cancer just a couple of years ago,” he said.
When the lump appeared in Scott’s chest 20 years ago, he wasn’t overly concerned. But, he did ask his doctors about it from time to time.
“They asked me the basic questions that you would ask a woman,” he said.
“Is there a discharge? Does it hurt? Is it getting bigger? And, it wasn’t,” Scott said.
Scott beat cancer as a child. He didn’t think he would have to battle it ever again.
Doctors reassured him the lump was nothing.
“The doctor said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ So, I didn’t worry about it,” he said.
Two thousand men in the nation will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. For many, like Scott, the cancer has already grown or spread.
Scott had a radical mastectomy and radiation and now chemotherapy, the standard treatment for breast cancer in women.
Scott Fleischauer with Texas Health Arlington Memorial is the doctor treating Scott now.
Dr. Fleischauer says, there is no standard treatment for men with breast cancer.
“We have to base it on the information we have for women. It appears to behave the same. But without a large amount of data, we may be wrong.”
Mammograms help doctors find early stage breast cancer in women.
Dr. Fleischauer said, “We can find cancers smaller than a centimeter with a mammogram.”
“In men, very seldom do you catch something that small because of how difficult it is to feel something that small in your breast,” said Dr. Fleischauer.
Scott had to get a mammogram for doctors to determine whether or not his cancer was malignant.
Scott’s cancer is terminal.
He hopes to help others avoid the same road.
Scott said, “Just like women, the longer you wait, the less your odds of getting past it.”
Doctors aren’t sure what caused Scott’s breast cancer. They only know there are risk factors that increase a man’s chance of getting it.
They include: an increase in estrogen levels, obesity, and a family history of breast cancer.
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