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Austin Man Shares Breast Cancer Survival Story
We often hear about women battling breast cancer, but what about men? It's not nearly as common, so it can be hard to diagnose. It took an Austin man years and countless doctor's visits to figure out what was wrong.
Ron Chally knew what he was feeling wasn't normal. "For four years I continued to have pain in my right nipple," he says.
Pain, though, seemed to be his only symptom. "It was raised like it was cold, but had no discoloration, no lump, nothing," said Chally.
He went to see a doctor out of concern, several of them. "The fourth one said, 'well, I've never had a man in my practice in 25 years to have breast cancer,'" said Chally.
No one suspected anything out of the ordinary, "I said you know somebody has got to know what this is," said Chally.
"Most of the time, men don't feel like they can get breast cancer and then physicians typically will not see a whole lot of men with breast cancer," said Chally's physician, Kelly Martinez. "So it's not very common."
Martinez is a breast surgeon at Texas Breast Specialists in Austin. She was the one to tell Chally he had breast cancer. "Nobody ever told me men get breast cancer," said Chally. "I don't think I've ever heard that."
"Of all breast cancer, about one percent of breast cancer patients will be men," said Martinez.
"I have a mastectomy on the right side," said Chally. "I'm still hesitant to go out in the front yard without a shirt on."
It was a rough couple of months, but Chally was determined to rise above. "It was a speed bump in my life, it wasn't something that was going to take me down."
Eleven years later, he's still going strong and letting other men know about breast cancer. "Don't just think that it's something that will go away," said Chally. "Guys are bad about that."
Saturday, June 7, Chally will model a vest autographed by Willie Nelson at the Breast Cancer Resource Center fundraiser, Art Bra Austin. The vest will then be auctioned off.
For tickets to Art Bra Austin, visit their website.
By Deeda Payton