LETTER TO EDITOR: Men can get cancer too

Hello! My name is Daniel Crusius (EC political science major), and I was assigned male at birth.

Last year, I noticed a lump beneath my nipple, and I soon became very concerned. I contacted the Male Breast Cancer Coalition about this to see what they recommend, and they recommended I see a doctor immediately. While unfortunately (due to a lack of medical awareness) my doctor didn’t fully think a person assigned male at birth could get breast cancer at my young age (nor did the medical forms have a spot for breast lump for males*). Nevertheless, we scheduled an ultrasound. We found a pea-size lump, and I was given two options: have a biopsy or have it surgically removed. For reasons I am not comfortable sharing, I hesitated on what to do next. But again, I called Peggy Miller, who helped found the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, whose son Bret developed breast cancer at age 17, among the youngest detected at the time. She was adamant that I get it removed and shared stories of men who had died from breast cancer because they took no action. Indeed, I chose to have a lumpectomy, and the mass was removed from me. It was tested, and fortunately, it was not cancerous. Nevertheless, I write this today to raise awareness about how people assigned male at birth can also develop breast cancer. Just as cisgender women can develop breast cancer, so can cisgender men, transgender women, transgender men, and non-binary folks from any physiological background. For more information on male* breast cancer, visit malebreastcancercoalition.org  .

Readers’ note: I asterisked “male” to be expansive in this complex medicalized gendered context because some folks medicalized as male do not identify as men and some folks medicalized as female identify as men or non-binary.


Daniel Crusius