MN Man Gets Breast Cancer, Learns Men Are Not Immune

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One in every 100,000 breast cancer patients is a man. It’s very rare, but it’s something many men don’t talk about or even ask their doctors about.

Bill Riegert is just glad his wife’s persistence made him ask his doctor about it.

Riegert, who doesn’t have a history of breast cancer in his family, was diagnosed with breast cancer after he noticed a small bump on his chest.

Two doctors told Riegert the small bump on his chest was nothing to be concerned about.

‘It was a bump. It started to increase in size a little bit, and I started to wonder about it a little bit, even though they told me it wasn’t anything,” Riegert said.

Life changed for Riegert when he went with his wife to her doctor for her annual mammogram.

Riegert’s wife, LuAnn Reigert, said she just asked the nurse to talk to her husband. When the nurse said something about the possibility of cancer, the couple went to see a radiologist, and he told Riegert to get it looked at. So Riegert went to the Piper Cancer Center, where doctors gave him a physical and used a mammogram machine to determine if his bump was cancer.

“Mammograms can be extremely accurate both to discover a cancer also to rule out cancer,” said Dr. John O’Leary, who worked with Reigert.

Doctors caught the cancer early, and a week later they had Riegert in surgery.

“He did a mastectomy take the lymph nodes to check that and I was very lucky,” Riegert said.

After The Cancer

Riegert is now on a mission to spread the word about breast cancer and how men are not immune.

“I play golf a lot. I play with my golf partners, and one guy said why do you wear your watch on your right hand. I said, ‘Well, because I had breast cancer, and I had lymph nodes taken out,’” Riegert said.

He has even taken part in the Breast Cancer Awareness Association’s Sense of Style Show to let the world know he, too, is a breast cancer survivor.

“I want as many guys to know … it’s something you should think about also during your regular physical examinations,” Riegert said.

Riegert said without his wife’s persistence he never would have went to the doctor to be checked out.

O’Leary said men should pay special attention to their breast beginning at the age of 50.

More from Reg Chapman
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  • Yeah

    You’d think news reporters would a bit better than this.

    Or the editors. But you have to understand they are TV personalities first, reporters second.

  • Barb H

    My husband is also a breast cancer survivor. I am so glad that you ran this story because men do not pay attention to it. Like your story there was no history of breast cancer in the family. The Dr said tissue is tissue it does not matter what sex if is. Because I insisted that he go to the Dr and it was found I am happy to say he is in remission.

    • wannabelieve

      I’ve always had a problem with the Susan G. Komen foundation for not emphasizing this more. I understand the focus on women, but basically to ignore the fact that men are not immune to breast cancer really irritates me. I’m glad they have started being more informative about that. There is a history of cancer of all sorts in my husband’s family, and he and my son both get checked routinely because they both have had lumps that were a little worrisome.

  • Loser

    Get a life . Must suck to be you, going through life criticizing everyone.

  • Rags

    You’re right. Sometimes even proof-reading wouldn’t help because they don’t know any better. Liberal faux-education.

  • PJO

    it looks like some of you have lost sight of the subject matter, its about a man who was diagnosed with breast cancer. who gives a rip about grammer errors. i wish this man well and luck with getting his message out there. i wear pink everyday in october, my car has a pink bra in the back window everyday in october and i do a snowmobile run every january to bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront of everyones mind.

  • sarah monotl

    People always wonder why we can’t cure cancer with all the millions of dollars people are donating. This gives a good explanation on why cancer can’t be cured right now.

  • Terry King

    I lost a brother to breast cancer. I get upset each October during Breast Cancer Awareness because there is very little mention of men getting breast cancer. My brother did not realize men could get breast cancer and his was found to late. The people responsible for Breast Cancer Awareness need to start including men in the promotion!!!!

    • wannabelieve

      I couldn’t agree more! It’s not like ovarian or cervical cancer that they CAN’T get.

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