Beating the Odds: men fighting breast cancer, for women & for other men

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Fighting breast cancer isn't just for women.

Husbands, fathers, and other men have long stood alongside their loved ones.

But men are joining the fight for a new reason - to help men who are also trying to beat the odds against breast cancer.

Beyonce Knowles has pushed the musical boundaries.

Now, her father Mathew is pushing other boundaries, revealing his personal battle with breast cancer.

He told Good Morning America's Michael Strahan that a recurring dot of blood on his shirt sent him to the doctor.

After surgery this summer, Knowles learned he has the BRCA 2 genetic mutation.

"Which means I have 4 things to be concerned about - prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and breast cancer. The rest of my life I have to be very much aware and conscious," says Knowles/

Men make up 1 per cent - about 2600 - of the new breast cancer cases a year.

But Dr. Richard Wender of American Cancer Society says they deserve more research on diagnosis and treatment.

"That's 26,000 men in a decade. It's not trivial," says Dr. Wender.

Unfortunately, breast cancer isn't usually found in men till it's advanced.

That cuts the chances of survival.

"And men, even physicians, are not routinely checking male breasts for cancer," says Dr. Wender.

But men like Mike Ballas are becoming more involved in fighting ALL breast cancer.

Again this year, this CEO is in the cancer society's Real Men Wear Pink campaign.

"Goal number one is to really increase the awareness of breast cancer, increase the awareness of what it is, how it affects women, and men, and the journeys that the patients have to go through," he notes.

Ballas talks up the cause whenever he can, and raises money for research and patient support.

Last week, he turned the restaurant at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Center City pink in a joint fundraiser with oncologist and fellow Pink Men candidate Dr. Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla.

"It was just a really good way to give back to the community," says Ballas about the event and his involvement in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign.

Ballas says Philadelphia is such a hub of cancer research and treatment, any advances here have a broad reach.

And you can help with that effort by joining Sunday's Making Strides Walk at Jack Curtis Stadium in Cooper River Park in Pennsauken.

It supports many vital programs.

The walk begins at 10
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