MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As October ushers in "Breast Cancer Awareness" month, many don't picture men when they think of survivors. Still, one in 833 men will get Breast Cancer, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Breast cancer survivor Ed Leet, was surprised to discover that he had breast cancer.
"I didn't think that men could have breast cancer," he said. "It was an eye opener."
Like many men who are diagnosed with breast cancer, Leet was informed that he had the disease while seeking treatment for unrelated trauma in October of 2018.
"October of 2018, I was working on my fixer-upper house…I fell and I broke five ribs, punctured my lungs, and when I was in the hospital, the doctor came back after a CT Scan. 'Mr. Leet, you have a lump on your breasts.'"
Leet said doctors acted quickly, and he had a mammogram, ultrasound and needle biopsy right away.
After all test were complete, Leet was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
"Stage 2 invasive double carcinoma breast cancer was confirmed," Leet said. "It was like my world quit spinning. Everything just stopped."
Just eight weeks after falling, Leet underwent a complete mastectomy on his left side. He started chemo shortly after in January of 2019.
Leet described his chemo treatment as "brutal", noting it as one of the hardest seasons of his life.
But now, Leet said he's on the better side of thins. In May 2019, Lee was informed that he was cancer free.
Leet said he separates his life into distinct "chapters."
"If it wasn't for the fall which I think saved my life…That's what I call my chapter one. My chapter two is once I got in the game to be a breast cancer warrior, it's never ending."
Like most, Leet lost all his hair after chemo. Leet said he relates to other men with breast cancer. And he wants to advocate for those who are diagnosed with the disease, making sure they know that they're not alone.
"You're not alone. There are so many people that have come before you, during, and after are fighting this awful disease. I think that that's an incredible statement," Leet said.
"The interesting thing about men, not to mention we're knuckle heads, usually our cancer is discovered from some other type of trauma. My story is no different."