Blue in a Sea of Pink – Guest post by Bill Becker

For Mets Monday this week, I am thrilled to present a guest post by Bill Becker. Bill is living with Stage IV breast cancer, and he’s the founder of the Facebook community Breast Cancer Brothers. Bill has agreed to be a regular guest on Telling Knots, so please welcome him warmly!

Don’t mind us…we’re just some blue in a sea of pink.

Imagine if you can, you’ve been told you have breast cancer.  Any diagnosis of cancer is scary in itself.  The lump that you’ve found has come back positive for breast cancer.  A man in a lab coat sitting across a desk from you just read the results from a piece of paper that was faxed over from a laboratory that performed a test on a sample of flesh from your body.  Now let’s change this up a bit, imagine the same scenario accept the ‘you’ in the scenario is a man.

As a man diagnosed with breast cancer there is very little information to guide all the men and women in lab coats with the most current and up to date methods for treating you.  When you go in to have an appointment with them, they will tell you that we are basing your treatment on what we’ve found that worked with women.  So wait a minute, you’re saying that not only do I have a “woman’s disease”, you are going to treat me based on everything you know about woman.  Ok, but I have a penis, isn’t there anything that tells you what to do in the case of a man with breast cancer?

No, there isn’t enough information, there hasn’t been enough research done to directly support medical treatment of male breast cancer.  I’m sure you’re thinking, why not?  The life of a man is equally important as a woman’s is.  Is it because there aren’t enough of us men with breast cancer?  Is there some secret society of men who have breast cancer and are just not saying anything?  Is male breast cancer like “Fight Club” in that the first rule of male breast cancer is you don’t talk about male breast cancer?  The second rule of male breast cancer is you don’t talk about male breast cancer.  I cannot sit idly by and not talk about it; I cannot let the so-called stigma of having what is known as a woman’s disease, define who I am.  I will not close my mouth and wait quietly with my stage IV cancer diagnosis to die.  Like “Fight Club” I will enter a room with a bunch of other men and I will fight!  Unlike “Fight Club”, when I emerge I will talk about it (and write about it) and I will tell everyone that I meet…hey men get breast cancer too.

I will join everyone else who fights breast cancer, men and women.  When life hands you lemons (or lumps), what do you do? I will make Lemonade, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Chicken, and the list of all things lemon flavored will be infused with the lemons that I’ve been given.  I will advocate awareness of male breast cancer.  I will tell everyone I can that, yes it is true, men can get breast cancer too!

So how does this scenario end?  The most likely answer is that this scenario will end with my death.  Before we get to that point, what do you say we talk about it?  Let’s make some noise about male breast cancer!  Support the awareness and early detection of breast cancer in men.  Let’s reduce the percentage of men who succumb to male breast cancer from an average of 25% every year down to 21%.  The only way we can do this, is if we talk about it.  So go tell someone…men get breast cancer too.

Bill Becker in The Scar Project: Male Breast Cancer. Photograph by David Jay.


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15 Responses

  1. Maxine D says:

    Go Bill – shout loudly and long!! Too often it’s the noisy wheel that gets the oil, which can be exhausting, but it is worth the effort, if not for you, for those who come after you.

  2. The whole breast cancer movement has become so obsessed with Pink and Awareness, Early Detection etc. that it has almost been forgotten that this is a fatal disease. Medicine wants to put you into statistical boxes and use them to treat you. If you fit into box A then this will be your treatment and you have to fit the treatment and if it doesn’t work it seems to be your fault and not the treatment’s. We need to start thinking outside the box a bit.

    PS It’s 5am and I can’t sleep so if this makes no sense then blame the sleeping box!

  3. dglassme says:

    Go BLUE!! Welcome to the sea of pinK not sure what color those two will make, my guess some sort of odd purple 🙂 Let’s get this purple party started!

  4. Renn says:

    So, so sorry you had to join the BC “club” Bill — but I look forward to hearing your point of view. And yes, we must fight for men and women alike. Your voice needs to be heard; the more men speak, the more women share that men speak, the more men we help. I am joining you in spreading the word.

    Thanks, Knot Telling, for sharing Bill with our community!

  5. helensamia says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us…

  6. Lisa Becker says:

    Bill Becker I am so super proud to be your wife standing with you in this battle! Breast cancer certainly does not discrimate, so neither should we! Xoxo Lisa

  7. Bill Becker, thank you for your willingness to step out, and speak up. Awareness is everything. We must continue to get the word out, too many are too complacent. Thanks for being a guest here – I look forward to seeing you again.

  8. Mary Gill says:

    Bill It is really interesting how ignorant many can be about breast cancer. I was diagnosed a year ago with triple negative breast cancer and everyone told me how the world has come such a long way yada yada yada breast cancer is so curable…………well not really or not for everyone. There has not been enough research for tnbc – it is getting better – but they too put you on the same thing as estrogen/progesterone breast cancers and hope it works (sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t). I wish you the best and hope that a cure for whatever type’s you have is happening now! Keep fighting!

  9. gregsmithmd says:


    Any friend of KT is a friend of mind. Good post that says what needs to be said.
    Thank you for taking the time to write!


  10. Mary says:

    Bill your willingness to talk is making more people aware. Keep sharing your stories and making your lemon food. There is always hope and you are a wonderful example of living
    in the present. Stay Strong!!

  11. Agnes Prigent says:

    Bill, you’re get the double penalty, and a how fearful one.
    You’re generous and strong.
    I wish you all the possible best.

  12. Peggy Miller says:

    We are part of your fight club share with all you love http://www.BreastSelfExams.org Yes for MEN and Women if you have Boobs use these videos monthly to save a life it maybe your own!! We UNITE!!!!!

  13. Bill you are a strong soldier in this battle. Your battle is not like other wars but, because of your bravery many will survive!!!! God bless you and your family.

  14. Knot Telling says:

    Bill is home from the hospital and resting. I’m sure he’ll be back to respond to your comments as soon as he’s feeling a bit better.

    Thank you, everyone!

  1. 6 August, 2013

    […] is a quick note to let you know that Bill, who wrote that wonderful guest post about male breast cancer, is currently in the hospital with heart and lung problems after resuming chemo following a […]

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