Altavista, Va. (WDBJ7) October is Breast cancer awareness month, and while it’s typically thought of to be a women’s disease, one local man is hoping to change that.
Frank Dalton has called central Virginia home his entire life. Just two years ago, Dalton was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
“I sat in the truck and cried, I’m not going to deny it. I cried, and then in a few minutes I said let’s get it together,” he said.
Dalton said he made the discovery in the shower following a fishing trip. He noticed a lump on his chest, and decided to get it checked out. Dalton himself will admit he had no clue men could even get breast cancer.
“I never thought of breast cancer, I always thought of something else.”
The self-discovery likely saved his life. The doctor told Dalton had he waited just six more months, he likely wouldn’t be alive.
His experience with breast cancer has given Dalton a new mission – raise awareness for male breast cancer.
“It’s his mission in life now to make sure men know about it,” said Donna Dalton, Frank’s wife. “It’s not just a women’s thing.”
Since joining Carilion as a breast surgical oncologist just over a year ago, Doctor Jessica Partin has seen firsthand the impact breast cancer can have on men.
“Men tend to present later, meaning their breast cancer high stage when they present,” said Dr. Partin.
Dr. Partin said the higher the stage, the less likely a patient is to survive. That’s why she said it’s so important to get anything you think is unusual checked out.
“Male patients with breast cancer tend to present with a lump in their breast,” she said. “Usually it’s a hard lump and it’s not very often painful.”
Dalton is now part of the Real Men Wear Pink initiative in Lynchburg. He’s raising money for breast cancer awareness.
To donate to his page go to https://tinyurl.com/DaltonPink