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'It's OK to be vulnerable': Breast cancer survivor raises awareness of disease's gender-neutral reality

Mens Breast Cancer Awareness
Posted at 5:27 AM, Oct 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-11 08:25:24-04

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Brett Miller, a male breast cancer survivor, has embarked on a campaign to raise awareness about the fact that breast cancer can affect men as well.

Diagnosed at age 24, Miller's journey with breast cancer has been filled with courage and determination. He is now using his experience to educate others and encourage men to be vigilant about their breast health.

"I was 17 when I first saw my lump," Miller said. "I was 24 when I was officially diagnosed. I started the organization for support for men because going through my journey and meeting my doctor and plastic surgeon, they essentially told me I was one of the rare ones.”

Miller never imagined that he would become one of the thousands of men diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Despite the rarity of the disease in men, his diagnosis came as a shock.

"I was one of the youngest diagnosed in the world at the time," Miller said.

Despite enduring many hardships along the way, Bret Miller successfully completed his treatment and has been cancer-free for 13 years. Today, he stands as a beacon of hope and resilience for other men who may be facing this diagnosis.

“We just try to make it bigger and go to a lot of high schools and colleges to start it off and build the awareness," Miller said. "If we can get them started younger to check their bodies and know their bodies, then maybe we can stop this disease before it happens.”

Miller's determination to raise awareness has led to the creation of his organization called Male Breast Cancer Happens. The initiative aims to provide information about male breast cancer, reduce the stigma surrounding the disease and encourage men to be proactive about their breast health.

“The stigma is that it doesn't happen to men. We don't have breast, boobs, however you want to say it and everything. But we do have breast tissue. And that's what the cancer is affecting," Miller said.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month unfolds this October, Bret Miller's efforts remind us that breast cancer is not a battle exclusive to women. His resilience, strength and advocacy have already made a significant impact, shedding light on an often-overlooked aspect of this disease and encouraging men to prioritize their breast health.

"We're just trying to put a splash of blue in a sea of pink because everything is kind of like pink washed right now but we're just trying to bring awareness that men get it too and put some blue in it," Miller said.