Harvard Men's Health Watch

Breast disorders in men

When America's first lady disclosed that she had breast cancer, the story made headlines. That was back in 1974, and until Betty Ford made her courageous announcement, public discussion of the disease was taboo. Mrs. Ford was cured, and the publicity she generated promoted crucial cancer research and helped motivate millions of women to get life-saving tests and treatment.

Because of the frank discussions Mrs. Ford initiated, a celebrity's breast cancer has moved off the front page. But in 2003, when a former U.S. senator made a similar announcement, it was again headline news, this time because the patient was a man, Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts.

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