Arnaldo Silva is a rugged, hard-working man. He was not concerned
about a small lump on his chest. Even his doctor dismissed it as just
"fatty tissue," he said. But
the "fatty tissue" kept growing. So Silva got a second opinion. The
images and the biopsy were shocking. He had breast cancer.
"Breast cancer in men? Men have cancer? We have no breasts. That's the way I took it. I have no breasts, Silva said."
But men do have breast tissue
says New York surgeon Sharon Rosenbaum Smith. All men have the capability of developing a breast cancer, but
are less at risk for developing the disease. But because so many men
assume they cannot get it, their cancer is usually diagnosed at a later
stage, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Another reason many men are slow to react is that they are embarrassed.
But keeping quiet can be life threatening both for the patient
and his family.
Silva found out he was carrying the BRCA 2 gene that greatly increases
the chance of getting breast cancer. He told his 32-year-old daughter,
Vanessa. She was screened and also had breast cancer.
Within days, both father and daughter had surgery. Then, they started chemotherapy...together. They supported each other.
"We were the rock stars of the hospital... father and daughter... we never had this before. "
That was more than a year ago. They are now cancer free.
But they are screened every three months.. to make sure they stay that way. However,
Arnaldo Silva has gotten beyond the stigma. He now wants to publicize his story to save other men's lives.
Click any audio files for the health report in Lao.
Translated by Buasawan.