Male breast cancer: Region 8 man shares battle with hopes to reach out to other men

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - When people think about those battling cancer, they typically think about women battling the disease.

However, men can also become victims of breast cancer.

A story 66-year-old James Hoffman knows all too well.

"In March 2015, I broke out with spots on my chest and I thought I had shingles," Hoffman said. "I waited until July to go see my primary doctor and he said it was not the shingles, it was the real deal, it was male breast cancer."

That wasn't the worst part, James learned the cancer already entered stage four and moved to his bones and lymph nodes.

With no known family history of the disease, the diagnosis was a shock to James and his family.

Since it had already spread to other parts of his body, doctors went to work to begin aggressively treating James' cancer with 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 rounds of radiation, and more.

Initially, James was apprehensive about beginning the breast cancer treatment.

"The first three chemos, I was just going to give up," Hoffman said. "I thought I could battle it myself but I couldn't."

After a little encouragement from medical staff, family, coworkers and other survivors, James found the strength he needed to move forward with the treatments.

He received some good news during his last check-up a few weeks ago, James learned the cancer shrunk.

However, his battle isn't completely over.

"I take over the counter medication," Hoffman said. "I take two shots when I go to the cancer center. One in the arm, one for my breast, and one for my cancer and I have a port they clean out. I do that once a month."

Although his condition is improving, James said doctors aren't sure when he'll be finished with treatment.

James encourages other men to visit their primary doctor for regular check-ups and especially if they notice any irregularities on their chest.

"Men are bad about not wanting to go to the doctor and will say 'I'm alright,'" Hoffman said. "That's what I did and I waited about three months too long."

James also encourages family members of cancer patients to be encouraging and to help in any way they can as they navigate the difficult diagnosis.

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