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Breast Cancer AMA Week: We’re advocates and staff from Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Male Breast Cancer Coalition, and we are joining the National Society of Genetic Counselors to answer your questions about breast cancer in men.
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Hi, Reddit! We’re advocates and content experts from Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Male Breast Cancer Coalition, joined today by Scott M Weissman, MS, CGC, of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. We recognize the unique issues faced by men diagnosed with breast cancer. We will answer your questions about breast cancer in men, including: • What it’s like to be diagnosed with what is usually considered a “woman’s disease” • The role of genetics and family risk • Ways to get emotional support and resources that help you cope with diagnosis and treatment Living Beyond Breast Cancer: For over 25 years Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has been helping women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and the people who love them. We work with leading experts in the medical and wellness fields to provide trusted and easy-to-understand information to help people make informed decisions. We bring people together from across the country and beyond through our national conferences, monthly webinars and signature yoga fundraiser Reach & Raise. Learn more at LBBC.ORG. With you, for you. Male Breast Cancer Coalition: The Male Breast Cancer Coalition, a not-for-profit patient advocacy organization, brings everyone together to educate the world about male breast cancer. We are on a mission to build awareness through the wisdom and experiences of survivors. We visit high schools and colleges around the country sharing journeys and educating audiences. We participate in events around the world and attend conferences, so we can become more knowledgeable and advocate. We want people to be informed. Breast cancer does not discriminate and we want everyone to know “Men Have Breasts Too.” Learn more about our advocates and experts answering your questions: Lori M. Berlin: I volunteer with the Male Breast Cancer Coalition because I lost a male cousin to triple negative metastatic breast cancer, and he saved my life. If it was not for Bernard, who was negative for a BRCA mutation, my genetic counselor would not have run any tests on me. I am BRCA2 positive, and because of a previous high risk LCIS diagnosis, I opted for a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and oophorectomy. Good thing, because the pathology indicated I was going to get breast cancer in both breasts. Now I raise awareness of breast cancer in men every single day. Josh Fernandez: I am Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Digital Media Specialist, playing a primary role in coordinating and growing the organization’s online presence informed by the organization’s marketing strategy, employing web analytics, social media messaging and e-communications. I also manage LBBC’s presence across online channels, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and our award-winning blog. I started working for LBBC in 2012 as a writer and web content coordinator. Erin Rowley: I am Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Writer and Content Coordinator, serving as author of select LBBC publications and coordinating publication reprints, photo shoots and our Ask-the-Expert program in support of the mission, programs and services of LBBC. I also write medical, psychosocial and promotional articles and blog posts for online and print publications. Scott M. Weissman, MS, CGC: I am a past co-chair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors Familial Cancer Risk Assessment Special Interest Group and a cancer genetics expert. As founder of Chicago Genetic Consultants, LLC (chicagogenetics.com), I bring the science of genetics and genetic testing directly to people who desire genetic counseling. I have more than 15 years of experience, and understand all aspects of the genetic counseling and testing journey. I can discuss everything from the decision to seek advice, the pros and cons of genetic testing, how genetic information can impact an individual and their family, and issues related to insurance coverage, privacy and discrimination concerns. I can also discuss hereditary cancer syndromes and how to educate family members about the potential risk of disease. Carl “Mac” Holmes Jr.: I spent my career in aviation, first serving for 27 years in the United States Air Force as an enlisted jet mechanic and crew chief and then as a commissioned officer and Air Force Pilot. I flew T37, T38, C-130 and C-141 aircraft and served as Chief of Training, Chief of Plans, Instructor/Evaluator and Command Pilot before becoming Squadron Commander of the 155 Air Lift Squadron. I retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2001 as a Lt. Colonel. My second career as Aircraft Captain for Federal Express began while I was serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. In my capacity with Federal Express, I served as an instructor, evaluator and line check airman for the company and was an FAA designee before my diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer. I faced early stage breast cancer in 2012 and prostate cancer in 2013. After successfully completing treatments I returned to work. During a regular checkup my physician discovered my breast cancer had returned. Now facing the realities of living with metastatic breast cancer I decided to take on a new mission. I now work closely with the Male Breast Cancer Coalition to raise awareness of male breast cancer, metastatic disease and the need for additional research funding. I am a graduate from Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s “Hear My Voice” Program and have been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense as a peer grant reviewer for the Breast Cancer Research Program, a program that supports innovative, high-impact breast cancer research. I also serve on the MET UP advisory council and represents disparities in metastatic breast cancer. We’ll be back at 1 pm EST (10 am PST, 6 pm UTC) to answer your questions, ask us anything!