Greensboro Man Survives Breast Cancer

10:48 PM, Oct 4, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Recognizing Signs of Cancer in Anyone

Greensboro man survives breast cancer.
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  • Greensboro, N.C. - You've probably seen pink ribbons scattered around your community. It's National Breast Cancer month, a cancer we typically associate with women. That's a mistake.

    Bill Ball still remembers the day a surgeon told him, 'I've got some bad news for you. It's cancer.'...I thought, 'How can this be? What have I done that has caused me to have this cancer?"

    Ball had breast cancer. Only one in one-thousand men will receive that diagnosis. Women have a one-in-eight chance of getting breast cancer.

    After a mastectomy, chemotherapy wore him down. "It would make me weak. I didn't feel too good," he said.

    Later, doctors prescribed a hormone drug typically given to women recovering from breast cancer...which gave him hot flashes.

    He said, "My mother-in-law thought it was hilarious. She would call and talk to my wife - and the first thing she would say is, 'How's bill and his hot flashes?"

    Ball's mother-in-law was also battling breast cancer at the time.

    "She got a kick out of me going through this. She thought it was funny. It is, really. It is unusual," he said.

    They both beat the disease.

    "I feel very fortunate being able to find it before it metastasized," he said.

    But, Ball often wonders what would have happened if he didn't notice the lump.

    "The knot that I found...or little bump...was smaller than a pea," he said.

    Ball has been cancer-free for two decades now and has helped other men diagnosed with breast cancer deal with it.

    Every year about 450 men die from breast cancer.

    Right now, there are more than two-and-a-half million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

    Breast cancer is no respecter of persons. It can strike men and women, young and old. But experts say early detection is key. Leigh Satalino with the Triad chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure joined Frank Mickens in the studio to offer advise on what everyone can do to try to recognize the signs of cancer before they become more serious.

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