BURLINGTON -- When you hear the words "breast cancer," you probably think of women, and the color pink. But did you know that this year alone, more than 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer? 53-year-old Bruce Bressan of Burlington is fighting the battle against breast cancer.
As a man in the prime of his life, Bressan thought his only worry would be how an arm sling might get in the way when it comes to picking up his grandchildren.
"I fell down, hurt my right shoulder, had to have my tendon replaced...reattached, so I was out of work for about 10 weeks," Bressan said.
Bressan says he was laying down one night when he noticed a golf ball sized lump in his chest.
The news from his doctor wasn't good."I came back and found out that it was what I suspected -- it was breast cancer." ~Bruce Bressan
"I came back and found out that it was what I suspected -- that it was breast cancer and that I`d have to go through the treatment for breast cancer," Bressan said.
"It`s kind of like having a time bomb on your chest," Bressan said.
Bressan's diagnosis came in July of 2015. Since then, he's had a mastectomy, a series of mammograms, two ultrasounds and a needle biopsy.
He's set to start chemotherapy soon.
"We can beat this. It`s potentially curable," Bressan said.
And Bressan isn't fighting the battle alone.
"I`ve always been a pink fan - but now, I feel like it means something to you. and now, every time I see something pink, I buy it," Bressan said.
Bressan's two daughters and their families have been with him every step of the way.
"I`ve been blessed with family support. I haven`t had to go to the hospital alone. I`ve been blessed (with people) rallying around me. We`re gonna focus on the cure. I`ve got about 18 months of cancer treatment ahead of me. I`m gonna try and stay positive, move in with my grandkids, use the family support as best I can, just duck my head and charge," Bressan said.
After further testing, doctors discovered Bressan has the BRCA1 gene mutation. He's encouraged his daughters and other family members to get tested to see if they have a similar mutation, which would increase their odds of being diagnosed with breast, ovarian and fallopian tube cancer.
As for Bressan and his family, the medical bills are mounting.
A fundraiser was held for Bressan at the Culver's restaurant in Burlington. Ten percent of sales will benefit Bressan.
"Culver's is just such a generous corporation to do this. The love is just so, so appreciated. Thank you so very much," Bressan said.
CLICK HERE to make a donation to Bruce Bressan's GoFundMe.com account.
One of the first steps when it comes to preventing and treating breast cancer is doing breast self-exams.
Remember, the 6th of each month is time for "Buddy Check 6!" Remind your buddy to do his or her monthly breast self-exam. If you don't have a buddy, get one now! You can even sign up to have a FOX6 anchor be your buddy -- and send you reminders on the 6th of each month.
CLICK HERE for more information on the FOX6 Buddy Check 6 program.