Male Breast Cancer Survivor Went From Feeling Alone to Feeling Connected to All Survivors

One male breast cancer survivor explains why he considers his cancer experience an “adventure into the unknown,” where he draws inspiration from every survivor he meets.

It’s something cancer survivors remember all too well: receiving their initial diagnosis, which likely sent them spiraling into a dark, confusing world of the unknown. Now, imagine it’s male breast cancer — not only rare in occurrence but rarely discussed in the media and popular culture.

Khevin Barnes, a CURE® “Voices” contributor, has lived this experience firsthand. However, he chooses to look at his journey as an “adventure into the unknown.”

“When I found out I had it, one of my first thoughts was, ‘Who's out there? Who can I talk to? Who's going to help?’ And as it turns out, there's a lot of guys out here, if you look for them, you'll find them,” Barnes said. “But more importantly, there's a lot of people — men and women — with this cancer disease that we carry. And what I found out is that our issues and our fears and our problems are one in the same.”

Transcription:

Since my diagnosis of male breast cancer began, my expedition through cancer began with it. And by the way, I do think of this as an adventure of sorts into the unknown.

But since this all began, the stories of fellow survivors — and I've listened to a lot — that's been a primary reason for me to be motivated. And I'm motivated constantly by the people that I meet and the people that I talk to.

Now, one of the first thoughts I had after finding out that I had breast cancer, and by the way, male breast cancer isn't even in the top 30 cancers that a guy is likely to get. It's pretty rare. But when I found out I had it, one of my first thoughts was, “Who's out there? Who can I talk to? Who's going to help?”

And as it turns out, there's a lot of guys out here, if you look for them, you'll find them. But more importantly, there's a lot of people — men and women — with this cancer disease that we carry. And what I found out is that our issues and our fears and our problems are one in the same.

It doesn't really matter which part of your body to cancer is in, there really is just one cancer, and it's the one I have, or the one you have.

So I'm motivated by every cancer survivor I see, every survivor I talk to, every survivor I'm lucky enough to meet. I realize our anatomies may be different, but our reasons to survive are exactly the same.

I'm motivated by you guys.

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