VALDOSTA – It was two years ago, one morning in the shower, when Ben Futch first felt a lump in his left breast.
Days later, Futch found himself at a doctor’s office after his wife noticed his left nipple began to invert, his foundation website reads.
A series of tests and three biopsies confirmed that Futch, who was 67 at the time, had developed stage 2a ductal carcinoma, breast cancer.
“I only shared my diagnosis with my family and some close friends,” he said. “I wanted to act quickly to get the cancer out of me as soon as possible.”
After learning of his breast cancer, his left breast was completely removed during a mastectomy two months later.
"The surgeon met with my wife and other family members and told them that we all needed to get down on our knees and thank God that the surgery went well," his foundation website reads. "There were no signs of cancerous cells in my lymph nodes. Our prayers were working."
Futch is the first man in his family to develop breast cancer as there is no family history at all of breast cancer.
He must be tested every 90 days and travel to Jacksonville, Fla., every six months to visit his oncologist.
“Having breast cancer has made me more aware of the importance of my doctors, family members, close friends and prayer,” he said.
Futch said he wants to shed more light on male breast cancer through the We Get It Too foundation.
We Get It Too was established in 2018 to help males be aware of breast cancer and its warning signs, he said.
A lump, nipple discharge, reddening, nipple inversion and skin dimpling are listed as signs of male breast cancer, the foundation website reads.
“Educating the male population on the risk of male breast cancer is a big task and we need help to get this done,” Futch said. “Support will help provide educational materials to spread the word and support research on this terrible disease.”
Futch said he believes cases of breast cancer in males are increasing though he said men are less proactive in their health than women.
He advocates for early detection saying it is critical in surviving breast cancer.
“Early on, I made the decision that I would not hide from this disease,” he said. “The quick decisions that we made after finding the lump helped save my life.”