The American Cancer Society says one in 833 men will get breast cancer.
Casey Carr is that one.
“I was really surprised that I had breast cancer to begin with. It’s not easy to hear at any age, especially the age of 36…that you have breast cancer,” said Carr, of Red Lion.
It was last year around this time when Casey noticed a lump behind his left nipple.
He says he thought nothing of it and figured it was just a cyst.
Then by the spring, it tripled in size.
“The radiologist pulled me in his office and said, ‘I can’t say for sure that this is cancer, but if I had to draw a picture of what cancer looks like, this would be it,’” said Carr.
This past May, he was diagnosed with stage three invasive ductal carcinoma, better known as breast cancer.
He says the mastectomy, the removal of 11 lymph nodes, the several rounds of chemotherapy, and preparation for radiation were expected after his diagnoses.
What was unexpected was the call from York County Assistance, which falls under the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
Casey claims he was told he’s not eligible for medical assistance because he is a man with breast cancer, bt without the assistance, he is uninsured.
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, what?’ And she said the breast cancer diagnosis is for women only, it’s not for men, when it comes to county assistance,” said Carr.
It falls under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services with grant money from the CDC.
Their website states its a program that, "provides full health care benefits to women needing treatment for breast or cervical cancer."
It makes no mention of men.
“I have the mentality that cancer is cancer is cancer. It doesn’t matter who gets it. It’s kind of insane to me,” said Carr.
Fox 43 had several phone conversations with employees from the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health, but they would not speak on camera.
They say there are resources in our area for men with breast cancer, such as the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Male Breast Cancer Coalition.
Their only reference to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program was made in an email from the Department of Health, stating it is part of the Healthy Woman program.
Casey says that’s not good enough.
“It’s 2018 and we’re still separating genders, as far as this is only for men and this is only for women. And it just shouldn’t be that way,” said Carr.
He says he should be able to keep his medical assistance due to a heart issue he was born with, and hopes that will cover his breast cancer, too.
But he says he plans to take this as far as he can to get the law changed, so no other man has to go through this.
“I feel men should be included. A man can die from breast cancer the same way a woman can,” said Carr.
He has already spoken to his local representatives, and has every intention of taking it further if need be.