Man with breast cancer says men should be aware - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man with breast cancer says men should be aware

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A pink ribbon can symbolize support for breast cancer fighters, but one group wants men to take notice to the normally girly color, and realize it can hit them too.

Men are known for it.

"Men are prone to put it off," said Jackie Johnson.

"I started burning and having pain in my left side of my chest, and I ignored it," said Charles Lutes.

Lutes thought the pain in his chest must have been a bruise from work.

"When they told me you're going over to get a mammogram, I actually laughed," said Lutes.

What men aren't known for is breast cancer.

"The doctor had said he has never had a male patient, breast cancer," said Zelma Lutes.

"I thought oh my gosh are you for real, are you reading the right test, do you have the right person," said Charlie Lutes.

Doctors diagnosed Charlie with breast cancer about a year ago, something his wife hadn't expected.

"It was shocking to me, shed a lot of tears, still shed a lot of tears," said Zelma Lutes.

Charlie Lutes had surgery in June of this year to remove part of the left side of his chest.

From April 2011 to August 2012, Southeast Cancer Center has treated 340 breast cancer patients, and only one of those is male.

"We were all in the waiting room, and all of us immediately said, we have to do something for Charlie," said Charlie's Aunt Jackie Johnson.

"We've all said we're Charlie's Angels," said Charlie's Aunt Dayneen Glastetter.

A group of family and friends call themselves Charlie's Angels. They come together to support Charlie emotionally, physically, and financially.

"No matter who you are, you still have the fear, all the bills come due once a month," said Charlie Lutes.

"We didn't want him to focus on the bills, and take away from his own mental awareness of I've got to heal myself," said Johnson.

"This group has come together and honestly been angels," said Charlie Lutes.

"Makes you realize you aren't alone in this battle," said Zelma Lutes.

Now Charlie, and his angels want to warn other men.

"Charlie said when it originally started, had he gone to the doctor right then and there, it never would have gotten to that point," said Glastetter.

"If you feel it, it's there and it's not going to go away," Zelma Lutes.

It's because of his support, his angels, Charlie said he can make it through.

"Having a good support team is what makes it all worth it," said Zelma Lutes.

"I'm going to beat it, I'm going to fight it and beat it," said Charlie Lutes.

Charlie's Angels group plans to host a fundraiser dinner and auction Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the New Hamburg Parish Center from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

You can find more information on the group's Facebook page here.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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