When you think about breast cancer, you rarely think about men. According to the American Cancer Society, about 2,500 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year. About 480 men will die from breast cancer.
Erik Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who doesn't have a family history of breast cancer.
He never imagined getting the diagnosis.
"I was thinking that's what it could have been, just based on what I was reading, but I thought cancer, not me and especially not breast cancer," said Hanson.
In late 2016, Hanson discovered a lump on his right breast. He didn't give it up much thought. Until six months later he asked his wife about it.
"Right when she checked it out, you can tell she was concerned," said Hanson
Hanson went to the doctor. In May of 2017, he got the unexpected diagnosis that he had invasive ductal carcinoma. The process to beat the disease began, but not before some household rules.
"If you don't come up with rules when you're facing these major medical conditions, then the condition gets to set all of the rules. One of the rules was for every tear that we shed we had to laugh. And I think we did a pretty good job at keeping that," said Hanson.
Hanson had a partial mastectomy, some lymph nodes were removed and six weeks of radiation. Although now cancer -free, Hanson is still on medication. About one in 1000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Compare that to one in eight women.
"I think it's important to stay in tune with your body. Make sure if you feel something different bring it up to a medical professional, a nurse a doctor, " said Hanson
Hanson says he's now very involved with the American Cancer Society is looking forward to this years walk. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is Sunday, October 21st at Armory Park. Registration is at 7 am, the walk begins at 8 am.