Male breast cancer survivor shares his story to raise awareness

Male breast cancer survivor shares story to raise awareness
Male breast cancer survivor shares story to raise awareness(WBAY)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A male cancer survivor shares his story for Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week in hopes of reminding men they are not exempt from the disease.

“It’s a humanity disease. It’s just not a gender disease,” said Mike Ashman.

Ashman first told those words to Action 2 News in 2017, three years after he was diagnosed with breast cancer. He did a follow up interview Monday, and shared the same words again.

“All of a sudden, I started to bleed from my chest,” he said. “It was scary because the doctor did not know what to do with that.”

The Seymour native was diagnosed in 2014 at age 50.

“The good news was that, when they did the biopsy, they got almost all of it,” he said. “I still needed treatment because they did not think that they got enough of it.”

He started radiation and is now cancer free. However, he’s still battling the misunderstanding that men do not need to worry about breast cancer.

“Even like in the doctor’s office, they talk about getting your yearly mammogram and it mainly dealt with the females. And I’m going ‘You know, males get that too.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, we never even think about that,’” said Ashman.

The American Cancer Society estimates 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be diagnosed this year. About 530 men are expected to die from breast cancer.

Ashman said men and women need to stay vigilant with self breast exams and mammograms, like him.

“Every year, you go in for your mammogram and you’re just, you know, hoping and praying that it comes out clear. And it does.” he said.

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