A week in October has been set aside to raise awareness among men about male breast cancer.
On Friday, June 5, the state legislature passed a bill that proclaims the third week of October, October 18-24, 2015 as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week in the state of New York.
The timing for the passing of the bill could not have been better, as June also happens to be Men’s Health Awareness Month.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto who sponsored the bill, reached out to male breast cancer survivor and Bronx resident Michael Singer after hearing his presentation on the disease at a Community Board 10 board meeting.
Singer, who had presented the resolution to Benedetto’s office, was presented with an embossed copy of the bill, Resolution K559.
“Last week, we passed the resolution in Albany that proclaims October 18-24, 2015 as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week,” said Benedetto. “This bill passing is important because this is a very overlooked and underrated disease that must be paid attention to. Males as well as females should always be aware and not ignore the signs because it is a serious health risk and I’m very glad (Michael) Singer introduced this resolution to my office.”
“Michael’s presentation at CB10, the passing of the bill and this story will have an accumulative effect on increasing the level of people’s overall awareness on this issue,” Benedetto said.
Benedetto also said that he intends to pass a new bill in the near future to permanently purpose a week in October as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week, not just 2015.
Singer, who has been a male breast cancer survivor for almost five years, continues to spread awareness by representing the Male Breast Cancer Coalition and also recently participated in a Breast Cancer research program as a consumer reviewer where he further researched and shared advice with other survivors about the disease.
According to both Singer and Benedetto, 2,100 men in the United States are diagnosed with male breast cancer each year and an estimated 450 men will die from the disease due to lack of awareness and early detection signs.
“Most people have never heard of male breast cancer while most men not only ignore the signs but are also embarrassed to talk about their condition - well that stops right here and right now in New York” said Singer.
“(Assemblyman Michael) Benedetto and his staff really recognize the importance of raising awareness on this issue as so many men die from this terrible disease each year,” he said.,
“Today was a great day in the state of New York and I thank Benedetto and his staff for listening to the constituents of the Bronx and taking this serious men’s health issue all the way up to Albany.”