Male Breast Cancer Foundation Celebrates 10th Birthday

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In a world dominated by those who believe that breast cancer is only a woman's disease, the John W. Nick Foundation is celebrating its 10th birthday this month, working as always to promote awareness of male breast cancer.

In a world dominated by those who believe that breast cancer is only a woman's disease, the John W. Nick Foundation is celebrating its 10th birthday this month, working as always to promote awareness of male breast cancer.

"Ten years ago, male breast cancer was barely whispered about," says Nancy Nick, the foundation's president. "Now, it is slowly becoming part of the breast cancer conversation as more doctors, pharmacists, and those in the general public become aware of it."

Nick believes this is in part due to their efforts, which she says have had a widespread effect. She notes that she has talked with people all over the U.S. and Canada who have copies of the foundation's brochure. And although only about 1% of breast cancer cases in the U.S. occur in men, Nick says that their efforts are critical.

"There are scores of breast cancer foundations focusing on women, but when men need somewhere to turn, they find that we're the only ones providing information and support for them. They use our website [http://www.JohnWNickFoundation.org as a source for information, and they contact us directly for additional questions. We also help them to network with other men who have or have had the disease."

The Nick Foundation's recent efforts include a newly designed pink and blue ribbon, which they hope that all breast cancer foundations will eventually adopt, as well as their unique "Breast Cancer Poetry" (showcased on their website) promoting use of that ribbon.

"As with a lot of charitable organizations," says Nick, "we've had a difficult time raising funds since 9/11, but we've been blessed with a lot of people who see the importance of our cause. As a result, we're getting professional volunteers who are helping to spread the word in various ways."

The Nick Foundation will attend the 28th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (http://www.sabcs.org) in December, bringing information on male breast cancer to doctors and scientists from around the world. They will attend with board member E.J. Wilson, who is a breast cancer survivor himself.

ABOUT THE JOHN W. NICK FOUNDATION

The John W. Nick Foundation was formed on November 9, 1995, just 4 years after John W. Nick died of male breast cancer. He had been told by two doctors to ignore his symptoms. His death inspired Nancy Nick to form the foundation to raise awareness of the disease. They can be found online via http://www.MaleBreastCancer.org.

ABOUT MALE BREAST CANCER

Nearly 1% of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. are diagnosed in men. The actual incidence of the disease may be higher but may go undiagnosed. Although the survival rate for men and women is similar when the disease is caught in the same stage, actual mortality rates are about 42% higher for men than for women, probably because symptoms are ignored and it is generally caught at a later stage.

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