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CANCER [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 59] 2,109 Have been


diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. in 2013.


Source: CDC


2,109 MEN


230,815 WOMEN


464


464 MEN


40,860 WOMEN


Died from


breast cancer in the U.S. in 2013.


Source: CDC


A NIMITZ-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER HAS ABOUT


6,000 PERSONNEL ON BOARD.


IF 20% WERE FEMALE, THAT WOULD BE


1,200 WOMEN AND 4,800 MEN.


OVER THEIR LIFETIMES,


5 OF THOSE MEN WOULD HAVE BREAST CANCER.


Source: American Cancer Society 70 MILITARY OFFICER OCTOBER 2016


150 OF THOSE WOMEN WOULD HAVE BREAST CANCER AND


According to research presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, by the time they are diagnosed, breast cancers in men tend to:


1 2


3 be larger,


have more aggressive cancer cells (higher grade), and


have spread to nearby lymph nodes.


“I looked like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. I also got a lot of mouth sores.” In addition, Thibodeau had a bad reaction to a new compound that put him in the hospital for three days, and he later developed peripheral neuropathy in his hands and feet as a side eff ect of one of his chemotherapy drugs. “My hands became so sensitive that I couldn’t touch anything,” he says. “They’re better now, but my feet hurt all the time.” Following chemo, Thibodeau was


given the option of three months of weekly radiation treatments or a bilateral mastectomy. “I didn’t even hesitate. I said, ‘Cut ‘em off , I don’t need them,’ ” he recalls. “The mastec- tomy made me feel self-conscious for a while, but I got over it.” Profesorsky also underwent a bi-


lateral mastectomy but didn’t need follow up chemotherapy or radiation treatments. He did have to return to his surgeon for about a year to take care of healing that took longer than expected. Once he had suffi ciently recovered, Thibodeau set out to address the vari- ous risk factors under his control such as diet and exercise. He and his wife bought bicycles and rode regularly. In 2009, Thibodeau got a road bike and began riding up to 250 miles a week. In 2012, he completed his fi rst triathlon, and he fi nished an Ironman Triathlon in Panama City, Fla., in November 2015. “My advice to others is to know your


family’s medical history, if you can,” Thibodeau says. “Also, do what you can in terms of lifestyle changes ... and focus on the things you can prevent.” Profesorsky agrees. “Men need to


check their breasts regularly just like women do and consult their doctors if they’re unsure about something. It’s important that we all take control of our health care.”


— Don Vaughan is a freelance writer from North Carolina. His last feature article for Military Offi cer was “Private Trauma,” August 2016.


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