HURT, Va. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one man is sharing his story about beating breast cancer to raise awareness about the disease in men.
"When I first found out I had it, I didn't know men could get it. You never think it's going to happen to you," Frank Dalton from Virginia said. "God looked after me, and made sure I survived so Ican tell other men about it. Spread the word, you know? 'C'mon guys, we can get it just like the ladies do.'"
Dalton said he noticed something suspicious in 2016, after a fishing tournament.
"I love to fish. That's my medicine away from medicine. A bunch of us were going to go out to eat, so I took a shower, and I noticed a spot directly under my nipple that was hard. It was like a rock. Hard as a rock," he said.
After weeks of tests and doctors visits, he got the news on December 7th, 2016: stage 2 breast cancer.
"I went out, got in my truck, and I sat there and cried for about 5 minutes. And then I was like, 'OK, you got that out of your system. Now let's go,'" Dalton said.
What followed was a little more than a year of surgery, chemo, and radiation treatments. Come January 2018, Dalton defeated cancer. He's been cancer-free ever since.
According to the American Cancer Society, 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year. For men, that number is 2,650.
"I think that's the biggest stigma with men; they think it's a female disease, but it's not," Dalton said.
That's why Dalton said he's been speaking up for men to check themselves, and advocating for more male breast cancer resources.
"The more I can get the word out, the more likely it is some male will see that it's OK if you have breast cancer. It's OK to talk about it. It's nothing to be embarrassed about," he said.
The American Cancer Society said there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.