“I was cleaning parts for my grandson’s racecar in April, and instead of spraying the carburetor I had the spray can pointed backwards and sprayed myself,” says Larry Mekic of Madisonville. “I picked up a paper towel and starting scrubbing to get the cleaner off me. That’s when I felt the lump.” He visited his primary care doctor, who recommended a mammogram. “When the radiologist told me I needed a biopsy, I said, ‘This is hogwash! Men don’t get breast cancer. This can’t be cancer!’” Larry was stunned.
Diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, he went to see surgeon Erin Miller, DO. “I don’t think I could have gotten better care if I went out of town. I really don’t.” Larry had a double mastectomy — both of his breasts were removed. “Dr. Miller was excellent. And when I had to go for chemotherapy, the folks in the cancer center were great and made me feel welcome.”
Although it’s rare, men are still at risk of breast cancer. Larry has two sons and wanted to know if his boys were at risk, too. “I had genetic testing. I want to make sure my kids and grandkids won’t get breast cancer.”
Today, Larry feels great. “I wasn’t going to let cancer beat me. I was going to beat it. I’d say the good news is, breast cancer can be treated if detected early enough, and we found it. My docs helped me find it. In the end, I still can’t believe I had breast cancer. If you told me I had prostate cancer, I would understand that. Men get prostate cancer. But breast cancer? Well, I’m proof that men get that, too.”