Peter’s Story: Male MBC
My name is Peter Devereaux. I am 51 years old and have metastatic breast cancer.
I was initially diagnosed with stage 3b male breast cancer on January 11th, 2008. One morning when I woke my hand bumped into my chest and I noticed a lump. I had no idea at all that men could get breast cancer. I contacted my doctor and had a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy. A few days later the doctor called me up and said I had male breast cancer; I asked him if he was calling the right patient. I was in complete shock!!!
I had a mastectomy and 22 cancerous lymph nodes removed, followed by 14 months of treatment, which consisted of 29 chemotherapy and 30 radiation appointments. Just three days before my last appointment in April 2009, I started experiencing shooting pain up and down my spine. So at my last scheduled appointment I had scans that revealed my cancer had traveled to my spine, ribs and hip - metastatic breast cancer. There is currently no cure. The average life expectancy is 2-3 years. I am planning to surpass that average by a lot.
I served in the marines and am one of 83 men from Camp Lejeune, NC Marine Corps base with male breast cancer. This is the largest male breast cancer cluster ever recorded.
I am very active in the breast cancer community, raising awareness and education for male and metastatic breast cancer. I have participated in many fundraisers such American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Komen's 60 mile 3 day walk. I have hosted many events to raise money for research. I have attended many seminars to become an educated advocate on breast cancer. I have even done a 5-day course on the science of breast cancer in San Diego, put on by the National Breast Cancer Coalition. I continue to attend as many events as I can and am always open to speaking about male and metastatic breast cancer.
My main goal is to live a long and healthy life and I hope to be involved in finding a cure for breast cancer. I am a very happily married man to my wife Fiona. We will be celebrating 17 years of marriage in February and we have a wonderful 15 year old daughter named Jackie. Despite the cancer, I have a great life; I have learned to live in the moment and appreciate everyday.
Editor's note: Peter passed away in August 2014 at the age of 52.
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