Yes, men get breast cancer too.

By: Lillian Doremus

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Neil shares his story to educate us about breast cancer and that it’s important to listen to your body.

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His 40th birthday was one he’ll never forget. Twelve years ago, Global Network and Technology engineer Neil Breitenbach received an unexpected surprise. Though he knew there was something off-kilter when putting on a seatbelt and feeling discomfort, he never expected to be diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.

Neil knew he was in for the fight of his life, but that didn’t stop him from living his life. Prior to his diagnosis, Neil competed in auto racing, and in the last four years he’s taken up go-cart racing. He started in local and regional competitions, and that evolved into national and international races — most recently in Ireland where he represented Team USA in the World Championship. Racing provides Neil with the emotional strength he needs and his outreach about his cancer diagnosis is to educate and inspire others about the importance of listening to their bodies.

Throughout his journey, Neil has maintained a positive and inspiring outlook, and he’ll be the first to tell you that it was not only the love of his family that helped him get through some dark days. It was also the support of his work “family” and his gratitude for all the encouragement and friendship he continues to receive that has inspired Neil to share the story of his journey.

Neil, we’re all rooting for you — on and off the track.

Cancer — what we all need to know.

Early detection is critical. As Neil has stressed, listen to your body and seek medical guidance when something doesn’t feel right. Don’t assume it will go away on its own.

The facts:

  • About 2,700 men in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
  • It’s estimated 282,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (13%) will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • This year, breast cancer has become the most common form of cancer worldwide.
  • For women under 45, breast cancer rates are higher among Black and African American women.
  • Up to 10% of breast cancers can be linked to known gene mutations inherited from a parent.

Mammograms are highly effective for diagnosing breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about how often you should be screened, based on your age and risk factors. Then follow your doctor’s recommendation.

To find a mammogram provider covered by your Verizon benefits, call the Member Services number on the back of your medical ID card or go to your medical provider’s website.


V Team, go to VZWeb to join the conversation

About the author:

Lillian Doremus is a member of the Verizon HR Communications team. She highlights workplace culture and employee achievements.

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