Retired healthcare executive Dick Grundy talked about the moment he was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I didn’t think it would be cancer. I didn’t have a clue because of my age,” said Grundy.
After his wife passed in last March, he made an appointment at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he learned he had the potentially deadly disease.
“When I went to my own family doctor he said it may be nothing, but we better have a look,” said Grundy.
For a man to have breast cancer is rare.
In fact, for every one thousand breast cancer cases, one is a man.
It’s even rarer for a man over 70 to be diagnosed.
Radiation oncologist Dr. Air Lavaf says the primary risk factor is obesity.
“Breast cancer is seen as a woman’s cancer, but that’s not true. Even men can get breast cancer. We just have less breast tissue,” said Lavaf.
The number of male breast cancer patients diagnosed and treated each year at Desert Regional Medical Center is 2 to 3. The number of cases involving women is upwards of eight hundred.
Not knowing why he got breast cancer, but ready to fight it, Grundy was initially slated for 12 chemotherapy treatments.
It took only four treatments, which caused significant weight loss, along with a final surgery, before he was cancer free.
“One of the things that is kind of cute is you are in a room with 50 other people getting chemo or other things, and 49 are female,” said Grundy, while laughing.
A bright yellow dot On Grundy’s PET scan showed the cancer in his right breast before his treatment.
Looking at his breast today, all that remains is a scar, Which Grundy says doesn’t bother him at all, even when taking a dip in the country club pool with friends.
“When you got a problem don’t play with it. Go get it taken care of. Find out what it is, and go from there,” said Grundy.
Grundy says he is sharing his story to help other men realize that they too can be diagnosed with breast cancer.
He and doctors encourage any man who feels a lump in their breast to not hesitate to get it checked.