Young Man Surprised to Learn Lump is Breast Cancer PKG

Did you know men can get breast cancer too? Meet an avid golfer who never expected a lump on his chest to be breast cancer.

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CLEVELAND – 37-year-old Brian Chrobak is athletic and in good health, so when he noticed a small lump on his chest, cancer was the last thing on his mind.

“Like most people tend to do, you put it off a little bit, you think ah, you know, it’ll go away on its own,” he said. “Long story short, that wasn’t the case.”

Over time, the lump grew larger and became painful. Eventually, Chrobak had it checked out and was stunned to learn he had breast cancer.

“When you’re sitting there and he (the doctor) tells you what you have, you kind of have to take a second to digest it,” Chrobak recalled.

Chrobak drove 90 minutes from his home in Pennsylvania to Cleveland Clinic for treatment. There, doctors discovered his cancer had advanced to his lymph nodes and started him on chemotherapy.

“The intent and the idea with the chemotherapy was to help him have a better surgery essentially, and so shrinking the cancer prior to surgery with the chemotherapy could help with that,” explained Erin Roesch, MD, Brian’s oncologist at Cleveland Clinic.

She added that giving chemotherapy before surgery can tell physicians about the biology or behavior of the cancer, in terms of how it responds to the chemotherapy. This helps them learn about prognosis and also helps guide medical therapy after surgery.

After chemo, Chrobak had surgery to remove the tumor and several lymph nodes. Radiation and hormonal therapy followed.

He’s currently about a year out from surgery and cancer free.

“Being young, you know, in your 30’s, you kind of always think — never me. And it could have been worse,” reflected Chrobak. “At the end of the day, the message is don’t ignore things. Get ahead of it.”

Even though breast cancer in men is considered rare, Dr. Roesch said it’s important to have any lumps or bumps checked out by a doctor – that goes for both men and women.

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