Meet Ronnie Laughter. Ronnie works the door at @mosphere. With a bright smile and an easy-going personality, he's a real charmer. To look at him, you might never guess that Ronnie is a victim of breast cancer.
Although rare, breast cancer does have a devastating effect on some men's lives. We are not immune.
Join a host of entertainers and educators this Sunday at
@mosphere for The Breast Cancer Benefit for Ronnie Laughter. All monies raised will be applied to medical
expenses incurred during Ronnie's treatment.
Nightspots had a chance to speak with Ronnie regarding his ordeal. In his own words, Ronnie discusses what he's learned about himself as a result of his diagnosis, and what you should know to keep yourself healthy.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT MEN AND BREAST CANCER
Breast cancer risk increases with age and every man is at risk.
You are never too young to develop breast cancer! Breast Self-Exam should begin by the age of twenty.
The mean age of diagnosis is from 50 - 60 years.
The risk factors which predispose to male breast cancer are radiation exposure, hyperestrogenism and Klinefelter syndrome.
The average time between first symptom and diagnosis is 19 months. This is probably because people don't expect breast cancer to happen to men, so there is little to no early detection: men don't perform self-examination, it's unusual for doctors to perform a routine breast examination on a man, and there is no such thing as a screening mammography for men.
'I never thought this would happen to me. Breast cancer, I mean. And yet it has and now I am in a battle to save my life. It is often forgotten or overlooked that this form of cancer affects the male population and I am a living reminder to all of us that it does.
This all began a year ago when I felt a lump under my left breast. I remember having discomfort when I touched the area and while lying on my stomach the left portion of my chest was tender. I first discovered the lump in February of 2004 and didn't think anything of it; breast cancer was the last thing on my mind. After a few months the pain had not subsided and I really began to worry. It was then that I decided to get it checked out. By this time it was July and I had waited almost five months before having an ultrasound, whereby I learned that the diagnosis was breast cancer. A surgery to remove the lump was the determined course of treatment. Afterwards I was informed that the lump had been removed and I had to wait six months to be sure that it was a success. After the check up I waited an additional six weeks only to learn that the cancer was not entirely removed and was rapidly spreading. I am now on a routine of daily medications and monthly chemo treatments. The next phase of treatment is another surgery to remove the breast cancer.
I have learned so much from this experience and I regret having waited when I first noticed something wrong with my breast. Please don't discard the possibility that you too may be a victim of breast cancer if you exhibit these symptoms.'