Only about 1 percent of breast cancer cases in the U.S. happen in men with the average incidence among men being just one in 1,000 compared to one in eight among women.
Las Vegan Kevin Sporleder is living with stage four breast cancer.
“You can’t help thinking about it often, but I try not to let it take over too much, and you try to enjoy things more,” he said.
As a man with breast cancer, Kevin is one in 1,000, but Dr. Brian Lawenda says treatment and risk factors are much the same.
“We always typically think of the pink ribbon and women but men can get breast cancer as well,” said Dr. Lawenda with 21st Century Oncology.
Family history and genetic predisposition are factors, but Dr. Lawenda emphasized the role of weight, that is often overlooked.
“Things that may increase the risk for developing breast cancer for a man or a woman could be obesity,” he said. “Alcohol is also a risk factor. And anyone that has a family history of breast cancer, especially a close family history of breast cancer.”
Kevin lost his mother to breast cancer, so there’s a family history. And while he’s slim now, he weighed 100 pounds more just two-and-half-years ago.
Today, healthy habits are helping him manage the cancer. He’s had chemo, and radiation, administered in a linear accelerator.
Dr. Lawenda showed 8 News NOW how it fine tunes the radiation to hit just the tumor, and spare the healthy tissue.
“Precision is extremely important because we’re trying to control the side effects,” said Dr. Lawenda.
“It was different, the first time. But going 38 times in a row, you know it’s like what you do every day,” Sporleder said.
Being stage four, Kevin’s cancer is considered chronic, not curable, but new drugs and treatments will come, that may prolong his life. Also, Kevin does a lot to help himself like eating a plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet and walking a lot.
“I just try to do my best every day and I work a lot on researching how I can at least make myself feel better physically and emotionally,” he said.
“Stress reduction is important for him, and the physiology of reducing stress is anti-cancer in itself, exercise is also anti-cancer in itself,” Dr. Lawenda said.
He is one of the few radiation oncologists in the country who is also an integrative oncologist and medical acupuncturist.
He uses several different methods besides the standard approach