John Ginter
John Ginter

VAN WERT – According to the American Cancer Society, aside from skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women. Around 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. Less common, however, is male breast cancer. Less than 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men, which is why when Decatur resident John Ginter found a lump, he didn’t think much about it and ignored it for months before seeing a doctor.

Ginter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.

“I was noticing a small bump in my right breast around my nipple,” said Ginter. “I didn’t think too much about it. But my wife checked it a couple of times, and she said she thought it was getting a bit bigger.”

Both Ginter and his wife, Nancy, worked at Adams County Memorial Hospital. After encouragement from his wife, Ginter decided to ask a doctor what she thought. She suggested having it removed to “know for sure.” Ginter had an out-patient procedure done to remove the mass.

“The little lump was attached to the mammary gland, so the whole thing came out,” said Ginter. “The surgeon then sent it into the pathologist.”

A week later, Ginter got a call asking when he could come in to discuss his results. He knew then that something was wrong.

“I worked in a hospital, I knew they didn’t call to tell me about my good results,” said Ginter. “I figured out right then that it was probably cancerous.”

Ginter said even the doctors were surprised at his results because of how rare male breast cancer is.

After receiving his diagnosis, Ginter had a complete mastectomy. He underwent chemotherapy for two months.

“That was the worst part of it,” said Ginter of chemotherapy. “It pretty much wipes you out. I continued to work that whole time, and some days I would barely feel like getting up out of the chair. I had no energy.”

Ginter said after running tests to try to understand what caused his cancer, doctors determined that he was “a triple-negative,” which meant that they were at a loss for what caused his breast cancer to develop.

Every year, Ginter has to visit the doctor for a check-up to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned.

Ginter said that it’s a good idea for men to do self-breast exams just like women do.

“It’s a very good idea for men to check too,” said Ginter. “It’s a lot easier for men because there’s not a lot of adipose tissue like there is in a woman’s breast.”

He also urges those who find a lump to get it checked out as soon as possible. Ginter said without his wife’s encouragement, he may not have ever gone to a doctor to get the lump examined.

“If I hadn’t checked it out and it would have spread, I might have been too late,” said Ginter.