#MCM: Former Dean Survives, Educates on Male Breast Cancer

Help us put a new spin on #ManCrushMonday! In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UC Cancer Institute has chosen to honor some of our very own “man crushes”—men fighting against this horrible disease. They could be treating it in the clinic, studying it in the lab, or fighting it themselves as patients. Check out our social media pages each Monday in October to see our #ManCrushMonday posts and help us to applaud these men who are making a difference.

And don’t forget to join in the fun. We’d love to know about the heroic men in your lives fighting the fight against breast cancer. Be sure to tag @uchealthnews and @UC_Health with your #ManCrushMonday posts.

New Building NamingEmeritus Dean of the University of Cincinnati Clermont College and namesake of the campus’ Educational Services Building Jim McDonough, 75, says his journey with breast cancer began with some mysterious dots of blood on his bed sheets.

“I had no idea where they were coming from, and eventually, I just laid down to try to match it up,” he says. “I found that blood was being excreted from my left nipple.

“My wife Kathryn is a former nurse, and really, she saved my life by insisting that I go get it checked out. If left to my own devices, I would have ignored it.”

After scheduling an appointment with a physician at UC Health, McDonough received the shocking diagnosis.

“They did a biopsy and ran a number of tests to see if the cancer had spread,” he says, adding that they conducted genetic testing to see if he carried the BRCA gene, but he did not. “Luckily, the cancer was encapsulated and had not metastasized to my lymph nodes. The UC Cancer Institute surgeon was able to do a mastectomy, and I was cancer free from that point forward—no chemotherapy or radiotherapy was needed.”

McDonough says following the surgery and recovery, it’s been “smooth sailing” with no recurrence. He is seen for follow-up care by Elyse Lower, MD, director of the UC Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.

“Early detection and awareness that breast cancer can happen to anyone at any time were key to me being OK,” he says. “My message to any one—man or woman—who notices symptoms is that it is better to be safe than sorry and to have it checked out. It would have been easy to ignore it, but thankfully I didn’t, and I’m still here because of that.”

The UC Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary breast cancer team offers patients the combined benefit of advanced, science-driven medicine with a personalized approach to treatment and follow up care. The board-certified multidisciplinary team—made up of breast imagers, medical oncologists, dedicated breast pathologists, radiation oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, fellowship-trained surgical oncologists and a highly experienced oncology nursing staff—meets weekly as a team to discuss and determine the best treatment plan for individuals of any gender affected by breast cancer. Visit uchealth.com/cancer for more information.

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