HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Breast cancer is typically associated with women, but News13 spoke Wednesday with a Grand Strand doctor on the lesser-known fact that it can also affect men.
Dr. Scott Berry at McLeod Health says he treats about four to five male patients diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
Berry said they used to think breast cancer was more aggressive in men, but that was because they were seeing the cancer in later stages due to screening not being pushed as much on men as it is with women.
“Sometimes when men come in with their wives or their significant other, they’ll sit in the other chair,” he said. “And I usually ask when I walk in the room, ‘who am I seeing?’ Because it could be either one.”
Berry said most men don’t even know they can get breast cancer. The American Cancer Society says about 1-in-833 men are at risk of getting breast cancer.
For women, that risk is 1-in-8.
“So, we always tell men, you know, if you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for your daughters. Do it for your granddaughters, because they all actually need to be screened for high-risk surveillance.”
Berry said he orders thousands of mammograms per year — and has even gotten one himself.
“I didn’t really have a problem, but I wanted to be able to, you know, relate to them,” he said. “And it seemed fair for me to go through a test that I was ordering all my patients. And it was getting a little uncomfortable, I have to say, but not terrible. Not terrible. It gave me a different perspective and it helped me understand what they’re going through a little bit more.”
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the earlier the breast cancer is detected, the better the odds of survival.
“The only thing you can do wrong is ignore, thinking it’ll go away,” Berry said. “That’s really the wrong move. Other than that, you know, it’s actually easier to diagnose breast cancer in men because their breasts are smaller, we can get a better exam on them.”
Mammogram’s typically take about 30 minutes. Berry said that while the compression can be uncomfortable, more men should get screened — not just for themselves but for the women in their family.
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Savannah Denton joined News 13 in July 2023 as a reporter and producer. Savannah is from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Follow Savannah on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here.