Trucker Spreads Message That Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 20:58:17-04

A Bedford County man has been spreading the message that men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer after his own experience.

70-year-old Larry Overcast recently found out that he is in remission after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

"About September I was outside mowing the grass and I had my shirt off and I went to wipe my chest off and felt a knot on my left breast," recalled Overcast.

The knot turned out to be a turn for the worst for the longtime truck driver. 

He had undergone chemotherapy, a mastectomy on his left breast, and had his lymph nodes removed. 

Overcast admitted that he would have never thought men would even be diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Women get breast cancer all the time but nobody ever said anything about men having breast cancer," said Overcast. 

Despite what he went through, Overcast is now did his research and has started raising awareness through t-shirts.

He had a pink shirt personally made saying he had breast cancer. He also had a black shirts made by the Male Breast Cancer Coalition saying "Men Have Breasts Too."

"I'm trying to save somebody's life. If I got breast cancer and I could tell you, you feel a lump and you go check it out, you might save your life," said Overcast.

About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be diagnosed in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society

In addition, about 460 men will die from the disease.

Men getting breast cancer is rare with the lifetime risk of about 1 in 1,000. That accounts for less than 1% of breast cancer cases in the country. 

The ACS added that men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer, which likely reflects decreased awareness and delayed detection because screening mammography is not recommended for men due to the rarity of the disease.

"Men just like women should be very conscious of their body and changes that take place," said Kimberly Stanke, an American Cancer Society volunteer. 

Stanke has been breast cancer free for 12 years. However, she has known the effects of cancer quite well with her mother dying of the disease in 1997 and her father being diagnosed with it.

"Obviously as a man you may not have large breasts but you still have breast tissue so you can still test yourself just like a woman," added Stanke.

To learn more about the shirts and survivor stories, click on this link