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Men's Breast Health Initiative

CREATED Oct. 19, 2012

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It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Eric Buhler’s entire life has been touched by breast cancer.

Right before he was born, his paternal grandmother died from the disease. In 2002, his maternal grandmother also lost her battle with breast cancer.

In 2003, his mother was first diagnosed with the disease. After eight years as a survivor, she was diagnosed with a different form of breast cancer last December.

 “For me, breast cancer has shaped my whole life,” the 22-year-old said. “It’s just always been in the back of my mind.”

While his mother’s first diagnosis inspired Buhler to work in health care, it was her second diagnosis that propelled him to “change the world.”

That’s why he founded the Men’s Breast Cancer Initiative in partnership with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition (WBCC). The initiative aims to involve men in the fight against breast cancer.

Buhler, a current nursing student at Columbia College of Nursing in Glendale, began volunteering with the WBCC after his mother’s second diagnosis. When he attended the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s (NBCC) annual advocate summit in Washington D.C. last year, he noticed one thing was missing – men.

Buhler felt the lack of men involved in the fight allowed politicians to dismiss the NBCC’s goal of ending breast cancer by 2020 by saying, “It’s the women in pink again coming to talk to us.”

And for Buhler, that’s simply not the case.

“I refuse to believe that I’m the only man who wants to stand up against breast cancer,” Buhler said.

In organizing the Men’s Breast Cancer Initiative, Buhler wants to educate men on “the science behind breast cancer” and the WBCC’s work to the fight the disease. Such work includes monitoring new breast cancer studies and providing doctors and patients with up-to-date and accurate information.

The initiative’s primary goal, however, is build the role men have in fighting the disease in order to increase their lobbying power.

Though the initiative is in its earliest stages, Buhler hopes that it would grow to be as large as the WBCC itself.

 

To become involved in the initiative, contact wbcc@standupandspeakout.org or call (414) 963-2103.

For more information on the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition and the Men's Breast Cancer Initiative, click here.