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Men donating tissue toward breast cancer research

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June is Men’s Health Month, and for the first time, the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank held a public donation event exclusively for men.

At the June 10 donation event, men arrived in droves, ready to donate healthy breast tissue for the greater good.

 Michele Cote, Ph.D., director of the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank, spoke about the impact one sample of men’s breast tissue can have on developing a cure for cancer.

“A small quantity of healthy breast tissue from men can turn into something monumental for research,” Cote said.

men breast cancer research, National Cancer Institute
(Photo/National Cancer Institute)

Breast cancer is a disease that affects both men and women, but it is often viewed as a women’s disease. Despite this misperception, men can also develop breast cancer and it is just as fatal.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 2,700 new cases of intrusive breast cancer is diagnosed in men every year, and about 530 men perish annually from the disease.

While the numbers are not as high as those for women, breast cancer is still a serious concern for men.

Indiana University’s Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is home to the only breast tissue biorepository of its kind in the world.

Cote is also the Dr. Carrie Ann Glasscock West chair in breast carcinogenesis at IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. The bank is uniquely arranged to characterize the molecular and congenital root of routine breast development and compare it to the various types of breast cancer.

Cote went on to explain treatment disparities between men and women with breast cancer.

“We’ve treated men’s breast cancer the same way we’ve treated women with breast cancer, and that isn’t the best practice anymore,” Cote said.

“This is the only research of its kind in the world,” Cote said.

The Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center will host further donation events on Sept. 30 and Nov. 11.

Contact multi-media staff writer Noral Parham III at (317)-762-7846 or e-mail at NoralP@IndyRecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.

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