Man shares his story about fighting breast cancer - WNEM TV 5

Man shares his story about fighting breast cancer

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan man shared his impactful story of how he beat cancer twice.

Now it's back for a third time and he said there's a lesson to be learned.

Roger Grates, Frankenmuth resident, is fighting breast cancer again after beating the disease twice.

October is breast cancer awareness month and it's important to know the disease can impact anyone.

The American Cancer Society said men have a one in 1,000 chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime. While those are long odds, they are not impossible.

"I don't want other men to be as dumb as I was," Grates said.

Grates proudly dons his shirt that reads "men have breasts too." Now he is out to raise awareness. He wants men to know the danger of breast cancer is real.

"Those are the people I'm trying to reach to say that breast cancer in men is possible," Grates said.

Of all the breast cancer cases known, only about 1 percent impact men.

"Pretty rare. Although with men living longer that may increase a little bit," said Joseph Contino, surgeon at Covenant Cancer Care Center.

Contino said men should pay close attention to their bodies. Any sudden changes could provide a warning that something isn't right.

"If there's a change in your body you should bring that attention to your physician, whether it's in your breast or elsewhere. You know, go for an examination," Contino said.

In Grates' case, it was an inverted nipple that got his attention. For his part, Contino said performing self exams and knowing your family's medical history are the best way to catch cancer early.

"Talk to your doctor about getting genetic testing and maybe picking something up early and doing something about it much earlier," Contino said.

As for Grates, he hopes telling his story will help save lives.

According to the American Cancer Society, 460 men nationwide will die from breast cancer this year.

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