21. A splash of blue in pink

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Rod shared his experience as a male breast cancer patient and how that experience led him to become an advocate and create a resource site to serve the needs of the male breast cancer community.

I’m super appreciative of Rod coming on the show to share his experience as a male breast cancer survivor and advocate. I learned so much – from how the lack of awareness about male breast cancer results in more delayed and therefore more dire diagnosis, to the differences in how men seek support online. It was also very interesting to hear about the advocacy work he has been doing with the “pink” cancer organizations.

I was glad to hear that Rod did feel supported by women in online forums and that he felt well taken care of by the female experts on his medical team. Since men account for such a small percentage of the newly diagnosed population each year, I expected Rod to run into more problems, and was slightly surprised to hear otherwise. I feel like I’ve heard more problems for women breast cancer survivors than in his experience. I don’t know if Rod was being polite or if that was really the case, but my guess is that women as a marginalized group are able to better empathize with the men when the dynamic is reversed. That’s definitely my bias as a woman but I don’t think my hypothesis is too far-fetched.

You can find Rod on Twitter or at his website http://malebc.org/.

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