Men with Breast Cancer Must Attend Major Conferences to Advocate for Themselves

December 18, 2019

At the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Khevin Barnes advocated on behalf of men with breast cancer, but also advocated for more men with breast cancer to join him.

More men with breast cancer need to attend major conferences on their disease to not only keep up to date on the latest advancements in breast cancer but also to advocate for themselves and fellow men with breast cancer, according to Khevin Barnes.

Barnes, a male breast cancer survivor, and CURE® contributor traveled to San Antonio, Texas for the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) to take in all the updates on the treatment of breast cancer and advocate on the behalf of men with the disease. He was particularly excited about advances in MRI imaging technology for faster and more accurate diagnostic testing along with the growing data on aromatase therapies. However, many of the advances will only affect women with breast cancer. More emphasis is needed on finding out how the disease is different for men, he said.

In an interview with CURE, Khevin discussed why it is vital for male breast cancer survivors to not only consistently share their stories, but also attend major conferences like SABCS to advocate on their own behalf and make sure they have the right information to understand their disease.

TRANSCRIPTION

You know numbers count. Now obviously, with only about 2,700 men being diagnosed every year compared to, you know, 270,000 women, the numbers are important. And also, men tend to be a little more reluctant to get involved. It's just in our nature, I hate to put us in a bundle here, but the truth is, we're kind of slow to catch on and we're very slow to get help. We need to let men know that we're out here.

I was one of those guys that didn't know men could have breast cancer, I suspected it was possible, but I never thought about it, and I talked to a lot of guys that are totally surprised by this. So, we need to be here to advocate for them, help them stay on top of the technology and really give them some positive feedback and hope because there is a lot of hope for this disease.

We're making some amazing advances and if you catch it early, you're in pretty good shape. That's the whole point of getting men involved. Catch it early. Talk about it. Make them know that it's even out there that it also happens to guys.


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