Widow fights to raise awareness about male breast cancer

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PLAINFIELD -

A Union County widow is fighting to raise awareness about male breast cancer after her husband succumbed to the illness.

Medical experts say that the chance of a man developing breast cancer in the United States is less than 1 percent. Because it is so rare, men who contract breast cancer aren’t typically diagnosed until the cancer has spread to other parts of their body.

Kenya Medard says that her husband died from stage 4 breast cancer last March. They were married for 25 years.

Medard says that her husband’s journey began in 1999 when doctors discovered discharge stains on several of Anthony Medard’s undershirts. The father of two had a family history of breast cancer.

“When he realized his decline, that was his inner struggle,” Kenya says.

RELATED: New Jersey man first to undergo robotic mastectomy

She says that her husband’s dying wish was to see his only daughter graduated from high school. Unfortunately he did not make it to graduation day, but the family was able to give him his wish.

“She was in a cap and gown. We went in the room and we gave him that comfort and told him that he made to her graduation and that was the last time we got any reaction out of him,” Kenya says.

Since his death, Kenya has been on a mission to inform the public about male breast cancer.

“Men can get breast cancer and it is just as bad as a woman getting breast cancer,” she says.

Cheri Ambrose, with the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, says that men are often misdiagnosed.

“They continue to have signs and symptoms and then unfortunately these men are diagnosed as metastasis and don’t have long,” Ambrose says.

By year's end, about 2,550 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. About 480 of them will die from it.  Advocates are now putting out pink and blue ribbons to show breast cancer can impact anyone.

More information about male breast cancer can be found at the coalition’s website.

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